Physical Anthropology

Sinus X-rays
Physical Anthropology · 23. June 2017
In a what they are calling a “proof-of-concept” study, anthropologists from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique using frontal sinus growth to estimate age at death in juvenile populations. The sinus cavity is formed during childhood as a portion of the frontal bone, the bone that forms the human forehead, separates over time, kind of like a puff pastry. In science talk, the ectocranial table, the skin side of the bone, separates from the endocranial table, the...

These are teeth from Megan Brickley’s lab at McMaster University. Credit McMaster University.
Physical Anthropology · 12. June 2017
Last year a group of researchers published work in which they showed that human teeth maintain a permanent record of vitamin D deficiencies because the condition causes defects in dentine mineralization. Now that same group of researchers has expanded their work by demonstrating how vitamin D deficiencies can be tracked in human populations through space and time. In their new study, lead author Dr. Megan B. Brickley and her colleagues combed through published reports, collecting data on over...

Vertebral column with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
Physical Anthropology · 28. December 2016
Today’s "wacky things that can happen to you" focuses on a spinal condition in which the ligament that runs vertically up the front of your spine from your head to your tush turns into bone. The condition is called Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH for short) and the picture associated with this article is what it looks like - blobs of oozing bone stuck to the front of vertebrae. It’s a complicated name so here’s a quick translation: Diffuse = it can happen throughout the...