Navigation Links
Studying hair of ancient Peruvians answers questions about stress
Date:12/9/2009

Recent studies show that one in three Canadians suffer from stress and the number is on the rise. But stress isn't a new problem.

While the physiological state wasn't properly named until the 1930s, new research from The University of Western Ontario proves stress has plagued humans for hundreds, and perhaps thousands of years.

The first study of its kind, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, detected the stress hormone cortisol in the hair of ancient Peruvians, who lived between 550 and 1532 A.D.

When an individual is stressed due to real or perceived threats cortisol is released into nearly every part of the body, including blood, saliva, urine and hair.

Emily Webb, a PhD candidate at Western in Archaeological Science and the study's lead author, says the findings are important because it will allow us to better understand how ancient people behaved and felt during their time on Earth but more importantly, to better understand stress and how it affects us today.

"By studying the lives of people using traditional archeological methods like surveying and excavation and combining that with new research techniques like sampling ancient hair specimens, we can get a good picture of what life was like and how our ancestors may have responded to life-changing experiences like illness and disease," explains Webb.

Analysis of cortisol levels in ancient hair allows researchers to assess stress during a short, but critical, period of an individual's life. For this pilot study, the Western researchers selected hair samples from 10 individuals from five different archaeological sites in Peru, and analyzed them in segments to determine cortisol levels.

While many of the individuals studied showed high stress levels right before death, Webb noted that a majority also experienced multiple episodes of stress throughout their final years of their life, again proving that much like today, stress was very much apart of ancient Peruvian's daily lives.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeffrey Renaud
jrenaud9@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x85165
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Exploration by explosion: Studying the inner realm of living cells
2. Model microbial community for studying expanding dead zones characterized
3. Geologists studying groundwater arsenic levels in India empower Bengali women, children
4. K-State receives more than $780,000 to fund graduate students studying ecology, evolution, genomics
5. LSU receives $3.6 million to fund center studying hazardous waste cleanup and health impacts
6. Douglas-fir, geoducks make strange bedfellows in studying climate change
7. UNH researchers studying spiny dogfish, Gulf of Maines mini shark
8. Methods for studying DNA repair and protein modification are featured in CSH Protocols
9. Studying volcanoes with balloons
10. Veterinary college researcher studying brain tumors in people and animals
11. Studying rivers for clues to global carbon cycle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Biometrics Market in ... offering. --> Research and ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce the ... achievements are the result of the company,s laser focus ... eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized breaches ... to find new ways to ensure data security and ... iOS and Android that ties a ... transforming it into a hardware authorization token. Customer service ... their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to verify ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND ), ... TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical needs, today ... Leerink Partners Global Healthcare Conference Location: , Waldorf ... 2016 Time:  , 11:55am EST www.ascendispharma.com ... An audio webcast of this event will be posted ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Aerocom, a world-leading supplier of pneumatic tube ... healthcare market. , Aerocom Healthcare, LLC will be based in Denver, Colo., and ... pneumatic tube systems or expand existing systems within the U.S. and Canada. ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... Resilinc ... which summarizes and analyzes nearly 750 unique supply chain notifications and alerts generated ... , Supply chain risk management practitioners subscribe to the EventWatch service to ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... products to aid in the rapid development and ongoing quality control of molecular ... Virus outbreak is extremely high,” Dr. Gregory R. Chiklis, President and CEO of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: