This is an artist’s reconstruction of Her, with a 5,700-year-old woman, whose appearance was reconstructed on the basis of a DNA analysis of a chewed up piece of birch pitch. (Credit: Tom Björklund)
Thousands and thousands of years ago, a young Stone age woman, in what is now Denmark, munching on a piece of birch pitch. DNA analysis of the prehistoric “chewing gum” now, it has been revealed, in remarkable detail, what they looked like.
The team, known as the early Stone age woman, “She” after the Lolland island in Denmark, that, of the 5,700-year-old, chewing-gum was first discovered. It is a Stone Age archaeological site, Syltholm, on the island of Lolland, the virgin continues to be the gum in the dirt for thousands of years, following Her down.
It was so well preserved, that is, a group of researchers at the University of Copenhagen were able to get a complete ancient human genome — all of the young girl with the genetic material. They have also been able to extract DNA from ancient pathogens by the oral microbes they carried it in her mouth.
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This is the first time that a complete human genome sequence was won by anything other than human remains, according to a statement released by the University of Copenhagen, denmark. The team’s analysis showed that the chewer of the pre-historic gums were female, and most likely had dark skin, dark hair and blue eyes. They found that Her dna matched more closely related to hunter-gatherers from the continent and the people who lived in central Scandinavia at the moment.
The-old-gum, contained traces of plants and animals, DNA is like the DNA of the nuts and the tower, which would have been part of Lola’s diet, according to the statement. Eventually, scientists found that the genes that are associated with the “lactase non-persistence,” meaning She probably does not consume dairy products very well.
Other earlier archaeological findings, the site was proposed, “that the people who are working on the site, which had a strong presence in the exploitation of wildlife resources is well into the Neolithic age, the period when agriculture and the domestication of animals were introduced in southern Scandinavia,” lead author Theis Jensen is a postdoctoral fellow of the World Institute at the University of Copenhagen, said in a statement.
Finally, the researchers found the DNA of oral bacteria in the gum, including DNA, which may belong to the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, also called mono or the “kissing disease.”
Birch-pitch is a blackish-brown substance, which is made by heating birch bark. This substance has been in use since the Paleolithic era as an adhesive for hafting stone tools, according to the statement.
Rather, pieces of the birch trees, the pitch was found with tooth marks, so archaeologists believe that when the pitch has cooled and solidified, it was chewed to make it malleable prior to bonding.
Other theories suggest that people are chewing on it lightly antiseptic, birch, and pitch in for the relief of tooth-ache, or other illness. Birch pitch can also be used for brushing one’s teeth, to suppress the appetite, or even just for the fun of it like chewing gum, according to the statement.
The old “chewing gum” is a relatively new form of DNA analysis can help to reveal the microbiome of our ancestors. It may also help to explain how bacteria and viruses have changed in the course of time.
“It will help us to understand how these pathogens have evolved and spread over the period of time, and they are particularly virulent in a given environment,” senior author Hannes Schroeder, an associate professor at the World Institute at the University of Copenhagen, said in a statement. At the same time, it may be helpful to have the ability to predict how a pathogen will behave in the future, and how it can be contained or eradicated.”
The findings, which were published on Dec. 17 in the journal Nature Communications.
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Originally published on Live Science.