London / Scientists from the University of Copenhagen say, for the first time, they have been able to extract a complete human genome from something other than bones, specifically a “chewing gum” of 5700-year-old birch resin found in an excavation in Syltholm, southern Denmark, who was chewing by a woman with blue eyes and dark hair, probably.
That “gum”, obtained from heating the birch bark, has been used as an adhesive since the Middle Pleistocene (between 760,000 and 126,000 years ago), and the small pieces found in archaeological works contain teeth marks, which suggests they were chewed.
After sequencing the DNA found in that material, the scientists determined that the person who chewed it was a woman, probably with blue eyes and a dark skin and hair tone, genetically closer to the hunter gatherers of continental Europe than to the who lived in Scandinavia at that time.
The research, published by the journal ‘Nature’, also includes analysis of the DNA of plants, animals and microorganisms, also concentrated in the same material, which provides data on oral microbes and the type of food of the individuals of that time.
Besides, in the examination of the non-human genome found, the researchers detected characteristic species of oral bacteria, such as gingival porphyromonas, a pathogen known to cause infectious mononucleosis or glandular fever.
“It can help us understand how pathogens have evolved and spread over time, and what makes them particularly virulent in a given environment. At the same time, it could help us predict how the pathogen will behave in the future and how it could be contained or eradicated”, explains the study director and associate professor in the Danish university, Hannes Schroeder.
The results of the investigation also give clues about the diet of the individuals of the time through traces of genetic material from plants and animals, among which were samples of nuts and duck.
According to Schoereder, the material is a “valuable source” and unexplored of information about the genetic makeup of our ancestors, “especially in a period where there are no human remains”. (December 17, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
News related in video (August 2018):
ha habido un avance científico
se ha celebrado un congreso de arqueología
se ha publicado un libro histórico
en realidad no es la primera vez que se produce
ya se había conseguido antes
es la primera vez que se produce
el genoma humano
nunca mascaba chicle
fabricaba chicle de resina de abedul
probablemente mascaba ese chicle
La verdad es que aún no se sabe con certeza
No, solo con el genoma humano
Si, sobre los microbios y la alimentación
la mujer del chicle
el cruce de especies de los antepasados del hombre
las costumbres de los neandertales
la defensa de los denisovanos