Calculus Tells a Story
Post date: Sep 05, 2012 10:40:54 PM
Christina Warinner is one researcher who is currently working on an international research project focusing on metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses of dental calculus (tartar) on ancient human teeth.
To a researcher dental calculus is fossilized dental plaque which is a film of oral bacteria, food particles and cellular debris that builds up on teeth.
They have found that dental calculus provides an excellent preservational environment for ancient microbes, including many pathogens.
The data they are collecting from the dental calculus is allowing them to learn about the interplay between diet, infection and immunity.
Who would have thought that such a story could unfold from what is scaled off your teeth during a hygiene care appointment.
For more information go to: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/christina_warinner_tracking_ancient_diseases_using_plaque.html