Navigation Links
Neanderthal medics?
Date:7/19/2012

An international team of researchers, led by the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona and the University of York, has provided the first molecular evidence that Neanderthals not only ate a range of cooked plant foods, but also understood its nutritional and medicinal qualities. Their results are published in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften The Science of Nature this week. Until recently Neanderthals, who disappeared between 30,000 and 24,000 years ago, were thought to be predominantly meat-eaters. However, evidence of dietary breadth is growing as more sophisticated analyses are undertaken.

The researchers from Spain, the UK and Australia combined pyrolysis gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry with morphological analysis of plant microfossils to identify material trapped in dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from five Neanderthals from the archaeological cave site of El Sidrn, located in the Asturias region of northern Spain. The researchers say the starch granules and carbohydrate markers in the samples, plus evidence for plant compounds such as azulenes and coumarins, as well as possible evidence for nuts, grasses and even green vegetables, argue for a broader use of ingested plants than is often suggested by stable isotope analysis.

The study also provides evidence that the starch granules reported from El Sidrn represent the oldest granules ever to be confirmed using a biochemical test, while ancient bacteria found embedded in the calculus offers the potential for future studies in oral health.

Ten samples of dental calculus from five Neanderthals were selected for this study. The researchers used thermal desorption and pyrolysis gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify both free/unbound and bound/polymeric organic components in the dental calculus. By using this method in conjunction with the extraction and analysis of plant microfossils, they found chemical evidence consistent with wood-fire smoke, a range of cooked starchy foods, two plants known today for their medicinal qualities, and bitumen or oil shale trapped in the dental calculus.

Lead author Karen Hardy, from the Universidad Autnoma de Barcelona and the University of York, UK, said: "The varied use of plants we identified suggests that the Neanderthal occupants of El Sidrn had a sophisticated knowledge of their natural surroundings which included the ability to select and use certain plants for their nutritional value and for self-medication. While meat was clearly important, our research points to an even more complex diet than has previously been supposed."


'/>"/>

Contact: Renate Bayaz
renate.bayaz@springer.com
49-622-148-78531
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/28/2017)... ... ... Viewers likely know Rob Lowe from such 80s hits as St. Elmo’s Fire and ... The West Wing and Parks and Recreation. But recently, Lowe’s leant his talents to ... on important modern-day issues that face today’s society. One of the most recent episodes ...
(Date:5/27/2017)... ... May 27, 2017 , ... Most us are familiar with the sound of ... from the Osteoarthritis Initiative shows that certain people who experience consistent joint popping, ... may give doctors the opportunity to treat patients before the problem becomes pronounced, potentially ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Amir Qureshi, MD is the first physician in Arkansas to ... system. The Nuvectra™ Algovita SCS System has been FDA approved as a treatment option ... Arkansas to introduce the most powerful SCS system and the only stretchable lead on ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... On May 24, ... which narrowly passed the U.S. House on May 4, would result in 23 million ... under continued implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, a highly-skilled oral ... new, informational blog post on insurance options. If a Bay Area patient has to ... save time and money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second opinion can ensure ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., has completed ... a health care service center company based in ... in relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and ... WRB will join Envoy Health Management, LLC ... manufacturers, biotech firms, and other service companies. Together, WRB ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... -- Fortuna Fix Inc. (" Fortuna "), a private, clinical-stage ... the need for embryonic and fetal stem cells by using ... Fortuna announced today the launch of its ... MD, PhD; Father Kevin FitzGerald , S.J., PhD; Col. ... James Giordano , PhD. "We are excited and ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... 4, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... data solutions, today announced that it is teaming up ... Technologies Limited to lower diabetes healthcare costs in ... card, which is available throughout all provinces and territories ... be eligible for additional savings when shopping for Dario ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: