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Teeth shed light on human evolution

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dental xrayFossilised teeth help scientists unravel human evolution.

Researchers from the Bristol University have gained further insight into the evolution of the human race by examining the fossilised teeth of a child who lived 30,000 years ago.

Discovered in 1998, the complete skeleton of the child was found in the Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal and had full set of teeth. Scientists were then able to compare the bite from the skeleton with that of modern humans.

Professor Zilhao commented: “This new analysis of the Lagar Velho child joins a growing body of information from other early modern human fossils found across Europe … that shows these early modern humans were modern without being fully modern.”

Elsewhere, researchers from the University of Illinois recently discovered an amino acid that could play an integral role in strengthening tooth enamel.

Professor Tom Diekwisch, head of oral biology at the university, noted the amino acid proline helps tightly pack the protein chains of tooth enamel, resulting in a higher density and stronger teeth.

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