Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The ESRF reveals how Neanderthal teeth grew

27.11.2006
Scientists from the United Kingdom, France and Italy have studied teeth from Neanderthals with X-rays from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). They found that the dental development of Neanderthals is very similar to modern humans. Their results are published in Nature this week.

Neanderthals first appeared in Europe approximately 200,000 years ago and became extinct about 25,000 years ago. These predecessors of modern humans have always been considered genetically closer to us than any other members of the genus Homo. It has even been suggested that Neanderthals achieved adulthood faster than modern humans do today.


Three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of the deciduous and permanent Neanderthal molars. Both enamel and dentin are rendered in transparency to show the pulp chamber and the root canals. Credits: Luca Bondiolli and Arnaud Mazurier.

A research team from the United Kingdom, France and Italy has recently shed new light on this theory by studying this species’ teeth. Teeth express genetic differences found between individuals and different populations more efficiently than any other tissues preserved in the fossil record. Studies with teeth can identify a timescale on the entire period of dental development that occurs from before birth until adulthood.

Scientists used the ESRF X-rays to study the enamel dentine junction of a deciduous and a permanent Neanderthal molar tooth (approximately 130,000 years old) that was found on a site in France. The technique used to image the teeth is high-resolution tomography. The researchers noticed that the samples showed more complex folding of the enamel dentine junction than their modern human counterparts. Some of the unique surface morphologies of Neanderthal molars clearly showed a deep embryological origin and are likely to have been functionally significant.

Thin ground sections of the same Neanderthal molars revealed that the crowns and roots did not grow faster than those of modern humans. The permanent molar tooth studied had completed its root growth at about 8.7 years of age, which is typical of many modern human children today.

Almost all deciduous teeth contained an accentuated birth line, or neonatal line that results from the changing physiology and stress of birth. The Neanderthal deciduous also showed a neonatal line with evidence of the usual perinatal physiological stress but with no signs of additional postnatal stress.

Among anthropoid primates there is a close relationship between brain growth and tooth eruption. Scientists predicted that the first permanent molar eruption in this Neanderthal (6.8 years) fits a dental development schedule similar to those found in modern humans.

The next step in the research is to find out whether Neanderthal teeth from sites dated to more recent times will reveal evidence of the demographic pressures that overcame the Neanderthals as they approached extinction.

Montserrat Capellas | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrf.fr/news/pressreleases/teeth2/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology
22.08.2017 | Université libre de Bruxelles

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>