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Ancient Teeth Bacteria Record Disease Evolution

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DNA preserved in calcified bacteria on the teeth of ancient human skeletons has shed light on the health consequences of the evolving diet and behaviour from the Stone Age to the modern day.

The ancient genetic record reveals the negative changes in oral bacteria brought about by the dietary shifts as humans became farmers, and later with the introduction of food manufacturing in the Industrial Revolution.

An international team, led by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) where the research was performed, has published the results in Nature Genetics Febraury 17. Other team members include the Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge (UK).

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