October View Now. Researchers at the University of California, Davis , have developed a technique that uses sensitive mass spectrometry for estimating the biological sex of human skeletal remains by measuring protein traces from teeth. Also, sites may only yield a few pieces of bone. Teeth also can tell researchers a lot about the person they belonged to, Eerkens added. Morphology of the tooth can tell us about ancestry.
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A team led by UC Davis researchers have come up with a new way to estimate the biological sex of human skeletal remains based on protein traces from teeth. Estimating the sex of human remains is important for archaeologists who want to understand ancient societies and peoples. Researchers can measure features of bones that differ between males and females, usually the pelvis. But skeletons of children and adolescents don't show these structural changes, and often sites may only yield a few pieces of bone.
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A new method for estimating the biological sex of human remains based on reading protein sequences rather than DNA has been used to study an archaeological site in Northern California. The protein-based technique gave superior results to DNA analysis in studying 55 sets of human remains between and 2, years old. The work is published July 17 in Scientific Reports. The method targets amelogenin, a protein found in tooth enamel, said first author Tammy Buonasera, postdoctoral researcher working with Glendon Parker, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Davis.
Dental Anthropology pp Cite as. Among the many parameters used in studies of prehistoric skeletal series, two are fundamental prerequisites for any statistical analysis: the age at death and the sex of an individual. Various demographic, biological or pathological features can be studied when these parameters are known. Biological age at death assessments are needed for estimating mortality rates, which subsequently have implications for the possible conclusions to be drawn about living conditions, nutritional status, epidemiology, social stratification etc.