Christina Warinner What Does Dental Calculus Reveal About Human Evolution?
© Maximilian Dörrbecker
Max Planck Society
"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History conducts basic research using modern analytical methods with the aim of a multidisciplinary and integrated science of human history. It seeks to bridge the gap between historical disciplines and the natural sciences. Scientists from a range of fields, such as biology, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology and history jointly work on innovative methods, in particular in the fields of cutting-edge genetic and proteomic sequencing, bioinformatics, archaeological science, computational modeling, language databases, and phylogeography. This thoroughly integrated, interdisciplinary approach will address long-standing questions about human history – including some previously deemed difficult, or even completely intractable – as well as novel questions inspired by the new horizons that cutting edge methods open up. (Source)
Dental calculus, a calcified form of tooth plaque, can give detailed information about the diets, diseases and lifestyles of past humans. CHRISTINA WARINNER discusses how she gains new knowledge about the way human beings used to live, what they ate, and how their microbiome has evolved. Dental calculus is the richest known source of ancient DNA in the archaeological record, and it is the only part of the body that fossilizes during life. In this video, she explains how emerging technologies in genomics and proteomics are contributing to groundbreaking discoveries about past human health and diet. By combining genetic and protein data, she describes how ancient infections leave behind sufficient traces to reconstruct entire pathogen genomes, as well as a detailed snapshot of host immune response. She explains how studies of ancient dental calculus will help us understand how our microbiome has evolved and why understanding the human ancestral microbiome may shed light on current chronic health problems.
LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10321
Pathogens and Host Immunity in the Ancient Human Oral Cavity
- Christina Warinner, João F. Matias Rodrigues, Rounak Vyas, Christian Trachsel, Natallia Shved, Jonas Grossmann, Anita Radini, Yvette Hancock, Raul Y. Tito, Sarah Fiddyment, Camilla Speller, Jessica Hendy, Sophy Charlton et al
- Nature Genetics
- Published in 2014