Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Find Out Why All Dentists are Having Trouble Falling Asleep

Teeth are well known to paleontologist for their prevalence and insight into the fossil record. Recently, geneticists are starting to starting to take notice as well.

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found two human teeth dating back some 4,000 years ago, and found that the microbiome of the mouth they came from was also remarkabley preserved. This allowed them to study the bacteria present and compare it to typical microbiomes of human oral cavities today. Not a huge surprise, but it was very different. The researchers were able to identify what bacteria was present from the perserved DNA profiles on the teeth.

The insights it gave them was that typical microbiomes in mouths 4,000 years ago may have been much more diverse than today. Although the teeth studied were over colonized by one bacteria S. mutans, demonstrating a pre-disease state, the fact that there was more biodiversity on the ancient teeth than our own is cause for concern. Like our guts, bacterial diversity is usually better and prevents overgrowth of disease causing strains. This pointed them to our changing diet, and the growing abundance of processed sugary foods some of us enjoy eating day to day. It is interesting to see Genetics having utility in archeology. Perhaps rock-lovers may soon be recruiting more DNA lovers for their specimen studies.

Posted by Michael Breslin



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