I've got to be honest: when I think of leprosy, I think of Jesus. Often regarded as a vestige from a bygone era, I was surprised to learn (from a reader, in fact) that leprosy still afflicts nearly two million people worldwide. We now call it Hansen's disease, but referring to it by its pseudonym has done little to dispel myths or stigma surrounding this ancient affliction.

To learn more about Hansen's disease, watch the video above and/or click the link below. And don't forget to join the conversation by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!

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GALLERY: EARLY HUMAN ANCESTORS
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  • Sahelanthropus tchadensis Lived 7 million years ago

  • Plesianthropus transvaalensis Lived 2 million years ago

  • Homo rudolfensis Lived 2 million years ago

  • Paranthropus boisei Lived 2 million years ago

  • Australopithecus Africanus Lived 2 million years ago

  • Homo Erectus Lived 1 million years ago

  • Homo Ergaster Lived 1.5 million years ago

  • Homo neanderthalensis Lived 60,000 years ago

  • Three Neanderthal reconstructions