Beethoven bones may identify his illness

November 17, 2005

A possible connection between a strand of Beethoven's hair and exhumed bones may show the cause of the classical composer's illness and genius.

The Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State University now has both, and will be used for scientific research, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Beethoven suffered from gastrointestinal issues and deafness.

Theorists believe this suffering may have lead to his ability to compose masterpieces, and maybe his death.

Preliminary studies show the hair and bones had high traces of lead, which may have been the cause of Beethoven's problems.

The bones, passed down a family tree to Paul Kaufmann of Danville, Calif., will be on exhibit at the center. Kaufmann has loaned them "in perpetuity."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Virtual-twin plan could support surgery for soldiers

Related Stories

Virtual-twin plan could support surgery for soldiers

February 16, 2015

A Saturday story in the MIRROR.CO.UK, the online edition of the Daily Mirror, carried a headline that made readers look once, twice, three times: "'Virtual twins' could save lives as doctors prepare to test technology by ...

US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

April 3, 2014

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government.

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Trade in invasive plants is blossoming

October 3, 2015

Every day, hundreds of different plant species—many of them listed as invasive—are traded online worldwide on auction platforms. This exacerbates the problem of uncontrollable biological invasions.

Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts

October 2, 2015

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.