A recent discovery may not find its way into an Indiana Jones movie, but I found it intriguing: a diverse group of scientists and archaeologists has isolated the bacterium that causes tuberculosis from human bones that are more than 9,000 years old.

The article has this delightfully simple title: “Detection and Molecular Characterization of 9000-Year-Old Mycobacterium tuberculosis from a Neolithic Settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Doesn’t that ring your bell? It’s not the easiest thing to read, but the work isn’t easy, either. The things good scientists can do these days are absolutely amazing. The genetic evidence they discovered indicates that

Mycobacterium tuberculosis has changed very little through the past nine millennia. I’m not medically savvy enough to appreciate the full impact of the finding, but I’m impressed nonetheless.

What human beings can do with technological advancements simply boggles the mind, but scientists aren’t the only ones capable of impressive things. We all have amazing potential — potential for good, for bad, or for ugly — potential to make the world a better place or a step closer to extinction — potential to bring light and hope to those around us, or not.

What are you doing with your potential?

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