Beethoven’s DNA Provides Information About His Health

Ludwig van Beethoven was a well-known German composer, and his DNA has provided new insights on his health. Beethoven’s deafness could not be explained by the DNA, which originated from his hair. However, the samples did reveal that he was genetically predisposed to liver illness. Additionally, the DNA revealed that Beethoven had contracted hepatitis B during the latter months of his life. The liver is harmed by the virus. The results were recently published in a paper that was published in Current Biology. The results imply that Beethoven’s liver problems were sufficient to result in the liver failure that is commonly thought to have been his death.

The 196th anniversary of Beethoven’s passing in Vienna, Austria, is March 26. In a letter to his physician, the composer expressed his desire for his health issues to be investigated after his passing. Leading the investigation was Axel Schmidt, a geneticist at University Hospital Bonn in Germany. Beethoven’s illnesses have been proven to have “sometimes very much limited his creative work,” he told The Associated Press. Schmidt went on to say that many doctors have never been able to figure out exactly what killed him.

Scientists have been attempting to put together Beethoven’s medical history ever since his death. Additionally, they have provided a number of theories as to why he would have so many medical issues. However, by examining old DNA, new examination techniques and technologies now make it possible to review mortality and health data. Beethoven’s hair was chopped into locks, from which DNA samples were taken. According to research author Tristan James Alexander Begg, scientists obtained tiny amounts of DNA by putting Beethoven’s hair strands into a solution after washing them one at a time. He teaches biology at the University of Cambridge and wrote the study.

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