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Dental Plaque Offers a Window to the Past

Monday, February 24, 2014


NORMAN, OKLAHOMA—An international team of scientists, led by Christina Warinner of the University of Oklahoma, has analyzed the 1,000-year-old dental plaque found on the teeth of medieval Germans. They found evidence of the health and diets of the individuals, and the same kind of bacteria that causes periodontal disease in people today. “Through protein sequencing, we can reconstruct infection and immune processes. It is like excavating a battlefield archaeological site, just at a molecular scale,” researcher Enrico Cappellini of the University of Copenhagen told the International Business Times.