Publications by authors named "Hugo Cardoso"

63 Publications

Testing the cross-applicability of juvenile sex estimation from diaphyseal dimensions.

Forensic Sci Int 2021 Apr 20;321:110739. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Electronic address:

Sex estimation is a crucial component of the biological profile. Stull et al. (2017) have proposed a promising juvenile sex estimation method using long bone measurements taken from a South African sample, providing relatively high classification accuracies and made easy to use via the KidStats web-based app. In this study, we test the models developed by Stull et al. (2017) on an external historic population from Lisbon, Portugal, in order to determine whether the models can be reliably applied to archeological and forensic populations outside of the original population sample. The study sample consisted of 102 individuals (45 females and 57 males) aged under 13 years at death from the Lisbon identified skeletal collection. Measurements from these individuals were used to test the flexible discriminant analysis (FDA) models given by Stull et al. (2017). Allocation accuracies were calculated for boys and girls and children over and under 2 years separately and combined. Our findings show that the models developed by Stull et al. (2017) yield poor accuracy when applied to our external population and thus can potentially be misapplied on archeological skeletal remains or forensic remains of unknown origin. A number of statistical issues may explain why models fail to be transportable or even generalizable, namely multicollinearity, model overfitting and overly optimist bootstrapped cross-validation rates. It is also likely that population differences in size and sexual size dimorphism also affected the applicability of the models. We emphasize the importance of externally validating prediction models, particularly if they are intended to be applied across populations. Our study addresses Stull and co-worker's request for further validation of the method on populations outside of South Africa, as the models cannot be confidently applied in the field until it has been externally validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2021.110739DOI Listing
April 2021

Socioeconomic differences in permanent teeth mineralization of Portuguese girls and boys from Porto, Portugal.

Anthropol Anz 2021 Feb 15. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.

Socioeconomic differences in dental maturation can be used to examine the impact of environmental factors on dental maturation. The purpose of this study is to assess socioeconomic differences in dental maturation of the seven permanent mandibular teeth (I1-M2). A total of 2114 panoramic radiographs of Portuguese children, adolescents and young adults were studied. The sample was divided into a high socioeconomic status (SES) (n = 925), and a low SES group (n = 1189). Ages ranged between 5 and 26 years. Demirjian's stages were used to assess the maturation of the seven mandibular teeth on the left side. Median-age of attainment of each stage and each tooth was calculated and compared between groups using binary logistic regression. Low SES girls showed a consistent advancement in dental maturation across the entire dentition. Low SES boys, however, showed more often a delayed maturation relative to their high SES counterparts, but this pattern was not consistent and a clear socioeconomic difference seems to be absent in boys. While this study was not able to further explore the causes of the dental advancement in girls, it is hypothesized that it might be related to a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity, and possibly caries, in low SES girls, compared to the SES difference in prevalence in boys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2021/1313DOI Listing
February 2021

Does age estimated from teeth forming in different early life periods show differential discrepancy with known age?

Am J Hum Biol 2021 03 15;33(2):e23577. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore growth discrepancies in the dentition of impoverished children and examine how dental development is impacted by environmental influences throughout childhood, thereby identifying which teeth are more sensitive to the effects of biocultural factors and are consequently less useful to predict age.

Methods: Length measurements of developing teeth (deciduous and permanent) were taken from individuals of known age and sex (n = 61) from the Certosa collection, a 19th century skeletal assemblage representing Italian children of low socioeconomic status. Discrepancies between age estimates based on tooth length and chronological age were calculated, and the accuracy and precision of age prediction between earlier forming teeth and later forming teeth were compared.

Results: Deciduous teeth produced more precise dental age estimates (mean age discrepancy -0.092 years), while discrepancies between chronological age and age based on developing permanent dentition were larger (-0.628 years). The difference between these discrepancies in age estimates for deciduous and permanent teeth was significant (p < 0.001), indicating that age prediction from deciduous tooth length is more accurate than age predicted using permanent tooth length.

Conclusion: An increasing variation and delay in tooth length for age reflects increasing susceptibility to biocultural factors, which impacts tooth growth during the course of childhood. Teeth whose development occurs earlier in life are less variable in their growth and provide more accurate estimations of age as a result.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23577DOI Listing
March 2021

Lack of biological mortality bias in the timing of dental formation in contemporary children: Implications for the study of past populations.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2021 04 4;174(4):646-660. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.

Objectives: Biological mortality bias is the idea that individuals who perish (non-survivors) are biologically distinct from those who survive (survivors). If biological mortality bias is large enough, bioarchaeological studies of nonsurvivors (skeletal samples) cannot accurately represent the experiences of the survivors of that population. This effect is particularly problematic for the study of juvenile individuals, as growth is particularly sensitive to environmental insults. In this study, we test whether biological mortality bias exists in one dimension of growth, namely dental development.

Materials And Methods: Postmortem computed tomography scans of 206 children aged 12 years and younger at death were collected from two institutions in the United States and Australia. The sample was separated into children dying from natural causes as proxies for non-survivors and from accidental causes as proxies for survivors. Differences in the timing of dental development were assessed using sequential logistic regressions between dental formation stages and residual analysis of dental minus chronological age.

Results: No consistent delay in age of attainment of dental stages was documented between survivors and non-survivors. Delays between survivors and non-survivors in dental relative to chronological age were greatest for infants, and were greater for females than for males.

Discussion: Lack of biological mortality bias in dental development reinforces confidence in juvenile age estimates and therefore in skeletal growth profiles and growth studies. As dental development is known to be less environmentally sensitive than skeletal growth and development, further studies should examine biological mortality bias in long bone length.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24218DOI Listing
April 2021

Comment on 'Krapina atlases suggest a high prevalence of anatomical variations in the first cervical vertebra of Neanderthals'.

J Anat 2020 12 31;237(6):1185-1188. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Archaeology, Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

A review of the observation of an anterior cleft on the atlas of a Neanderthal from Krapina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.13268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7704232PMC
December 2020

Severe skeletal lesions, osteopenia and growth deficit in a child with pulmonary tuberculosis (mid-20th century, Portugal).

Int J Paleopathol 2020 09 25;30:47-56. Epub 2020 May 25.

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, Canada; Centro de Investigação em Antropologia e Saúde (CIAS), Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim De Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

Objective: This case-study provides a summary of skeletal lesions seen in a case of diagnosed juvenile pulmonary tuberculosis with extensive multifocal bony lesions.

Materials: Skeleton of a 9-year-old girl who died in the 1940s in Lisbon, Portugal. The remains of this individual are part of the Lisbon skeletal reference collection curated at the National Museum of Natural History and Science.

Methods: Lesions and paleopathological conditions were identified and documented through macroscopic, radiographic, computed tomographic, and mammographic analysis.

Results: The skeleton shows a variety of lytic lesions on the ribs and thoracic vertebrae including complete destruction of the bodies and fusion of the vertebral arches of four vertebrae, kyphosis, and scoliosis. Further pathological conditions were identified, including bone erosion, premature fusion of the left femoral head and greater trochanter, and abnormal size and shape changes to the lower limbs including loss of bone mass and stunting of the long bones.

Conclusions: Skeletal lesions are indicative of spondylitis, Pott's disease, and prolonged bedrest.

Significance: This case is one of the few examples of confirmed juvenile pulmonary tuberculosis with skeletal lesions prior to the antibiotic era. As such, it provides a reference for the skeletal abnormalities which may be observed in archaeological tuberculosis cases.

Limitations: Pulmonary tuberculosis was recorded as cause of death, however there is no documentation to know the length of illness period or the existence of any comorbidities.

Suggestions For Further Research: Consideration of multi-focal lesions is recommended when analyzing individuals with suspected tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2020.03.002DOI Listing
September 2020

Historical, demographic, curatorial and legal aspects of the BoneMedLeg human skeletal reference collection (Porto, Portugal).

Anthropol Anz 2020 Feb;77(1):57-73

IINFACTS - Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada em Ciências e Tecnologias da Saúde, Departmento de Ciências, Instituto Universitário de Ciências da Saúde (IUCS), CESPU, Gandra, Portugal.

The BoneMedLeg research project was developed to address current research concerns related to the use of skeletal reference collections for forensic purposes. These concerns were partly addressed by amassing a new reference collection which incorporates unclaimed human remains sourced from two municipal cemeteries in the city of Porto, Portugal. Amassed between 2012 and 2014 the collection was developed with permission from and in partnership with the Municipality of Porto, in a manner that is similar to that of other skeletal reference collections in Portugal. Traditionally, municipalities have bequeathed human remains that are cleared from temporary primary and secondary burial plots at local cemeteries and deemed unclaimed, to museums and universities for research purposes. The BoneMedLeg collection currently includes a total of 95 individuals, of which only 81 are fully identified (38 males and 43 females), with ages ranging from 21 days to 94 years, and a mean age of about 62 years. Years of death range from 1969 to 2003, and years of birth from 1891 to 1969. Only about half of the individuals are documented as to cause of death, which includes a considerable diversity of etiologies, from oncological to cardiovascular system disorders, and also traumatic injuries. The collection is more representative of an unskilled working class and aged population, due to one of the main sourced cemeteries disproportionately serving more socioeconomic disadvantaged communities and reflecting the demographics of the city over the past 40 years. In addition to describing the history and curatorial process of the collection in detail, this paper also discusses its broad legal framework and potential biases in its profile and composition which can inform and help plan future research projects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2019/1023DOI Listing
February 2020

Age estimation in three distinct east Asian population groups using southern Han Chinese dental reference dataset.

BMC Oral Health 2019 11 11;19(1):242. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Orofacial Pain Unit, Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

Background: Dental age estimation can assist in the identification of victims following natural disasters and it can also help to solve birth date disputes in individuals involved in criminal activities. A reference dataset (RDS) has been developed from the dental development of 2306 subjects of southern Han Chinese origin and subsequently validated. This study aimed to test the applicability of the southern Han Chinese dental maturation RDS on three distinct East Asian population groups.

Methods: A total of 953 dental panoramic radiographs of subjects aged 2 to 24 years were obtained from Philippines, Thailand and Japan. The staging of dental development was conducted according to Anglo-Canadian classification system. The dental age (DA) was calculated using six methods; one un-weighted average and five weighted average (n-tds, sd-tds, se-tds, 1/sd-tds, 1/se-tds) methods based on the scores of the southern Han Chinese RDS. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 and the variation between chronological age (CA) and DA was evaluated using paired t-test and Bland & Altman scatter plots.

Results: From six dental age calculations, all methods of DA accurately estimated the age of Japanese and few methods in Filipino subjects (n-tds, 1/sd-tds, 1/se-tds). There was consistent overestimation of age for all the methods for Thai females (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The southern Han Chinese dental reference dataset was shown to be most accurate for Japanese, followed by Thai males and it was particularly ineffective for Filipinos and Thai females.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0942-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849234PMC
November 2019

A critical response to "A critical review of sub-adult age estimation in biological anthropology" by Corron, Marchal, Condemi and Adalian (2018).

Authors:
Hugo F V Cardoso

Forensic Sci Int 2019 11 27;304:109881. Epub 2019 Jul 27.

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby BC V5A 4X7, Canada. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.109881DOI Listing
November 2019

Postnatal maturation of the sternum in a Portuguese skeletal sample: a variable ossification process.

Anthropol Anz 2019 Oct;76(4):319-331

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

The timing of skeletal maturation is one of the common indicators used to estimate age at death of juvenile skeletal remains. Skeletal maturation of the sternum has received less attention than other anatomical locations, and there is a general lack of detailed information about the fusion timing in the dry sternum that can be used for the estimation of age. The objective of this study is to document the age variation in the fusion of the body sternebrae, and both clavicular and intercostal notches. A three stage scale scheme was used (unfused elements, partial, and complete fusion) to quantify fusion of primary and secondary ossification centres in a sample of 68 individuals of both sexes from the identified skeletal collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History and Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Analysis was performed only for the pooled sex sample due to small sample size. Wide age intervals were obtained for fusion stages at all of the sternal centres. Primary ossification centres start to fuse between 1 and 27 years of age, with sternebrae 3 and 4 completing their fusion first. Secondary ossification centres fuse between 5 to 25 years of age. Results reflect considerable variability among individuals in the maturation of the sternum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2019/0966DOI Listing
October 2019

Commentary on: Stephan CN, Ross AH. Letter to the Editor-A Code of Practice for the Establishment and Use of Authentic Human Skeleton Collections in Forensic Anthropology. J Forensic Sci 2018;63(5):1604-7.

J Forensic Sci 2019 09 22;64(5):1576-1578. Epub 2019 May 22.

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 4X7, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14078DOI Listing
September 2019

Indirect evidence for biological mortality bias in growth from two temporo-spatially distant samples of children.

Anthropol Anz 2019 Nov;76(5):379-390

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.

Biological mortality bias in growth is a challenge to the analysis and understanding of past populations. In this analysis, we address two interrelated aspects of the bias: its potential magnitude in terms of linear growth and the association between height and survivorship. A contemporary sample of 292 children, whose recumbent length was measured at autopsy in Cuyahoga County, USA, was used to quantify the magnitude of mortality bias. Differences between survivors and non-survivors were quantified using t-tests and Cohen's d for effect size. While survivors were consistently taller than non-survivors, the difference did not become significant until after 7 years of age. A historical sample of 656 girls, whose height and weight were measured at admission to a tuberculosis sanitarium, was used to examine the relationship between height, weight, and survivorship. The survivors and non-survivors were compared using t-tests and Cohen's d, and odds of survival were modeled with logistic regression. Surviving girls were consistently taller and heavier than non-surviving girls. However, while taller girls were more somewhat more likely to survive, survivorship was more strongly associated with heavier weight at admission. Taken together, these results suggest that while mortality bias in growth may exist, it may not be large enough to impact interpretations of past population growth patterns. It should be noted that this is the case only if mortality bias does not vary significantly between different populations and if it does not significantly affect dental development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2019/0957DOI Listing
November 2019

Maillard induced aggregation of individual milk proteins and interactions involved.

Food Chem 2019 Mar 12;276:652-661. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Wageningen University, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

The aggregation of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin and β-casein after heating in dry state was studied in absence and presence of saccharides. In absence of saccharides, differences were observed in the extent of aggregation. Differences between the proteins were mostly due to differences in covalent aggregation. The presence of glucose during the heat treatment of milk proteins significantly increased the extent of aggregation, and decreased differences between proteins. α-Lactalbumin was selected as a model protein for the study of cross-links formed after heat treatment. In the presence of saccharides, these cross-links were found to consist of 36% of disulphide bridges (compared to >75% in the absence of glucose), followed by other cross-links such as lanthionine. Larger saccharides led to a decrease in Maillard induced aggregation; maltotriose actually even inhibited the formation of α-lactalbumin aggregates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.10.061DOI Listing
March 2019

Rivaroxaban versus Warfarin in Patients with Mechanical Heart Valve: Rationale and Design of the RIWA Study.

Drugs R D 2018 Dec;18(4):303-308

Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.

Introduction: Mechanical heart valves (MHV) are extremely durable, but they require permanent use of anticoagulation to prevent thromboembolic events. The only approved therapeutic options are vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), such as warfarin. As a drug class, clinical management is difficult, therefore new alternatives need to be evaluated.

Methods: RIWA is a phase II/III, prospective, open-label, randomized, pilot study designed to investigate oral rivaroxaban 15 mg twice daily compared with dose-adjusted warfarin for the prevention of stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic) and systemic embolism in patients with MHV, from August 2018 to December 2019. Patients will undergo transesophageal echocardiography at the beginning and the end of the study (follow-up time 90 days). On an explanatory basis, all events will be analyzed, including stroke, peripheral systemic embolism, valve thrombosis, significant bleeding and death.

Discussion: Warfarin and similar VKAs are standard therapy for patients with an MHV. Even with the appropriate use of therapy, the incidence of thromboembolic events is high at 1-4% per year. Furthermore, bleeding risk is significant, ranging from 2 to 9% per year. The new frontier to be overcome in relation to use of the new oral anticoagulants is undoubtedly in patients with MHV. A significant portion of people with MHV worldwide will benefit if noninferiority of these new agents is confirmed.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03566303. Recruitment Status: Recruiting. First Posted: 25 June 2018. Last Update Posted: 25 June 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40268-018-0249-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6277324PMC
December 2018

A Reappraisal of Developing Deciduous Tooth Length as an Estimate of Age in Human Immature Skeletal Remains.

J Forensic Sci 2019 Mar 20;64(2):385-392. Epub 2018 Aug 20.

Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, Turner Street, London, E1 2AD, U.K.

This study provides an update on a quantitative method for immature age estimation based on postnatal deciduous mandibular tooth length. Two known sex and age skeletal collections from Western Europe were sampled (n = 97). Linear regression models for age estimated were calculated for each individual tooth, each sex, and sex combined sample using classical calibration. Prediction errors, residuals, and percentage of individuals whose real age fell within the 95% prediction interval were calculated. The teeth which develop earlier in life, the incisors and the first molar, showed the greatest precision, while the canine showed the least. This method has greater applicability to archeological skeletons or to children in developing countries than for use in North American or European forensic contexts. The method can be applied to incomplete or poorly preserved remains of unknown sex, particularly when dental radiographs are not an option or when teeth have been removed from the alveolus or crypt.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13892DOI Listing
March 2019

Response to Comment on "The growth pattern of Neandertals, reconstructed from a juvenile skeleton from El Sidrón (Spain)".

Science 2018 03;359(6380)

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

The comment by DeSilva challenges our suggestion that brain growth of the El Sidrón J1 Neandertal was still incomplete at 7.7 years of age. Evidence suggests that endocranial volume is likely to represent less than 90% adult size at El Sidrón as well as Neandertal male plus Krapina samples, in line with further evidence from endocranial surface histology and dural sinus groove size.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aar3820DOI Listing
March 2018

The influence of stunting on obesity in adulthood: results from the EPIPorto cohort.

Public Health Nutr 2018 07 15;21(10):1819-1826. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

1ISPUP-EPIUnit,Universidade do Porto,Rua das Taipas nº 135,Porto 4050-600,Portugal.

Objective: To retrospectively investigate the association between short stature and increased sitting height ratio (SHR) - indicators of stunting - and obesity markers in adults.

Design: Cross-sectional evaluation of the EPIPorto cohort. Weight, height, sitting height and waist circumference were measured. Obesity was assessed for men and women through BMI and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). Short stature (women, <152 cm; men, <164 cm) and high SHR (women, ≥54·05 %; men, ≥53·25 %) were taken as stunting measures. OR with 95 % CI were computed using logistic regression models.

Setting: Representative sample of adults from EPIPorto, an adult cohort study from Porto, Portugal.

Subjects: A sample of 1682 adults, aged 18-86 years, was analysed.

Results: Higher obesity prevalence was found among women (BMI≥30·0 kg/m2: 25·5 v. 13·3 %, P<0·001) and a higher proportion of men presented abdominal obesity (WHtR≥0·5: 80·1 v. 71·1 %, P<0·001). A positive association was found between short stature and obesity measures for women (multivariate-adjusted OR; 95 % CI: 1·75; 1·17, 2·62 for BMI≥30·0 kg/m2; 1·89; 1·24, 2·87 for WHtR≥0·5). Increased SHR was associated with higher likelihood of having BMI≥30·0 kg/m2 in both sexes (multivariate-adjusted OR; 95 % CI: 2·10; 1·40, 3·16 for women; 1·92; 1·07, 3·43 for men) but not with WHtR≥0·5.

Conclusions: Different growth markers are associated with obesity in adults. However, this association depends on the population and anthropometric measures used: short stature is associated with a higher risk of presenting excessive weight in women but not in men; SHR is more sensitive to detect this effect in both sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018000460DOI Listing
July 2018

Maillard induced glycation behaviour of individual milk proteins.

Food Chem 2018 Jun 30;252:311-317. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Wageningen University, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

This paper set out to differentiate the Maillard induced glycation reactivity of individual milk proteins using different saccharides under well-defined reaction conditions. α-Lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin and β-casein were incubated with mono-, di- and trisaccharides in the dry state under standardised buffered conditions and glycation was expressed relative to the available reactive groups per protein (DG). Protein reactivity, described by the DG and initial speed of glycation (v), followed the same order for each protein-saccharide incubation: α-lactalbumin > β-lactoglobulin ≫ β-casein. Glycation of whey proteins by different monosaccharides was double that of β-casein. Differences in DG between whey proteins and β-casein decreased with increased saccharide size. A two-fold difference was found for glycation in the presence of the dimers lactose and maltose for β-casein but not for the whey proteins. The percentage of glycated lysines increased with increased lysine to protein size ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.01.106DOI Listing
June 2018

Are we using the appropriate reference samples to develop juvenile age estimation methods based on bone size? An exploration of growth differences between average children and those who become victims of homicide.

Forensic Sci Int 2018 Jan 7;282:1-12. Epub 2017 Nov 7.

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.

The population on which forensic juvenile skeletal age estimation methods are applied has not been critically considered. Previous research suggests that child victims of homicide tend to be from socioeconomically disadvantaged contexts, and that these contexts impair linear growth. This study investigates whether juvenile skeletal remains examined by forensic anthropologists are short for age compared to their normal healthy peers. Cadaver lengths were obtained from records of autopsies of 1256 individuals, aged birth to eighteen years at death, conducted between 2000 and 2015 in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Growth status of the forensic population, represented by homicide victims, and general population, represented by accident victims, were compared using height for age Z-scores and independent sample t-tests. Cadaver lengths of the accident victims were compared to growth references using one sample t-tests to evaluate whether accident victims reflect the general population. Homicide victims are shorter for age than accident victims in samples from the U.S., but not in Australia and New Zealand. Accident victims are more representative of the general population in Australia and New Zealand. Different results in Australia and New Zealand as opposed to the U.S. may be linked to socioeconomic inequality. These results suggest that physical anthropologists should critically select reference samples when devising forensic juvenile skeletal age estimation methods. Children examined in forensic investigations may be short for age, and thus methods developed on normal healthy children may yield inaccurate results. A healthy reference population may not necessarily constitute an appropriate growth comparison for the forensic anthropology population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.10.041DOI Listing
January 2018

The growth pattern of Neandertals, reconstructed from a juvenile skeleton from El Sidrón (Spain).

Science 2017 09;357(6357):1282-1287

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Ontogenetic studies help us understand the processes of evolutionary change. Previous studies on Neandertals have focused mainly on dental development and inferred an accelerated pace of general growth. We report on a juvenile partial skeleton (El Sidrón J1) preserving cranio-dental and postcranial remains. We used dental histology to estimate the age at death to be 7.7 years. Maturation of most elements fell within the expected range of modern humans at this age. The exceptions were the atlas and mid-thoracic vertebrae, which remained at the 5- to 6-year stage of development. Furthermore, endocranial features suggest that brain growth was not yet completed. The vertebral maturation pattern and extended brain growth most likely reflect Neandertal physiology and ontogenetic energy constraints rather than any fundamental difference in the overall pace of growth in this extinct human.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aan6463DOI Listing
September 2017

Age estimation of immature human skeletal remains from the dimensions of the girdle bones in the postnatal period.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2017 08 24;163(4):772-783. Epub 2017 May 24.

Human Origins Group, Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom.

Objectives: This study provides classical calibration regression formulae for age estimation from the dimensions of unfused shoulder and pelvic girdle bones.

Materials And Methods: Age estimation models were derived from a sample of 160 known age and sex individuals (63 females and 97 males) aged birth to 12 years, selected from Portuguese and English skeletal collections. The sample was divided into two age groups at the age of 2 years, and formulae were obtained for the sexes separately and combined.

Results: Measurements of the pelvis provide more precise age estimates than the shoulder. In the younger age group, the height and width of the ilium, and the height of the glenoid yield the most precise age estimates. In the older age group, the length of the clavicle provides the most precise estimates, followed by measurements of the pubis and ischium.

Discussion: In the younger individuals (<2 years), age estimates based on measurements of the pelvic girdle seem to be as or more precise than those based on the length of long bones. In older individuals (≥2 years), estimates based on the measurements of the girdles are less precise than those based on the length of long bones. These age estimation formulae may be useful for fragmentary and incomplete material in archaeological and forensic contexts. The formulae are suitable for a variety of archeological populations living under adverse conditions. These conditions are similar to some "developing" countries, and hence the formulae may also be applicable to modern forensic remains from such environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23248DOI Listing
August 2017

The histone H2A isoform Hist2h2ac is a novel regulator of proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in mammary epithelial and in breast cancer cells.

Cancer Lett 2017 06 11;396:42-52. Epub 2017 Mar 11.

Mass Spectrometry Centre, Organic Chemistry and Natural Products Unit, Dep. of Chemistry, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal; Institute for Biomedicine -iBiMED, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Aveiro, Portugal. Electronic address:

Proliferation and differentiation are controlled through chromatin remodelling. Therefore, there is an enormous biological significance and clinical value in understanding how specific signalling pathways are affected by histone replacement in the nucleosome. In this work, mass spectrometry was used to screen HC11 mammary epithelial cells for changes in histone levels throughout cell differentiation. The canonical histone isoform Histone H2A type 2-C (Hist2h2ac) was found only in undifferentiated/proliferating cells. Hist2h2ac mRNA was induced by EGF, specifically in the CD24+/CD29hi/DC44hi cell subpopulation. Hist2h2ac mRNA was increased by MEK or PI3-K activation in HC11 and EpH4 mammary epithelial cells, and in MC4-L2 and T47-D breast cancer cells. Hist2h2ac silencing inhibited EGF-induced Zeb-1 expression and E-cadherin down-regulation, and this effect was reverted by Hist2h2ac re-expression. Notably, silencing of Hist2h2ac increased EGFR, ERBB2, and ERK activation but did not allow EGF-induced proliferation. HIST2H2AC was expressed in all breast cancer molecular subtypes and found altered in 17% breast cancers, being 16.8% of the cases related to HIST2H2AC gene amplification and/or mRNA upregulation. In summary, this is the first study that identifies a canonical histone isoform -Hist2h2ac-downstream of the EGFR pathway, regulating oncogenic signalling and thereby contributing to deregulation of target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2017.03.007DOI Listing
June 2017

Response to "Demirjian's method is unsuitable for dental age estimation".

Forensic Sci Med Pathol 2016 12 29;12(4):534-535. Epub 2016 Oct 29.

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12024-016-9817-6DOI Listing
December 2016

Age estimation of immature human skeletal remains from the metaphyseal and epiphyseal widths of the long bones in the post-natal period.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2017 01 10;162(1):19-35. Epub 2016 Sep 10.

Human Origins Group, Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom.

Objectives: This study provides regression and classical calibration models for the estimation of age from the dimensions of the metaphyses and epiphyses of the six long bones.

Methods: A sample of 148 known sex and age individuals (56 females and 92 males), aged between birth and 12 years of age, selected from Portuguese and English skeletal collections. Age estimation models were obtained separately for each sex and for the sexes combined, for the entire sample and for the sample divided into two subsamples at the age of 2 years.

Results: The best performing epiphysis is the proximal epiphysis of the tibia. For the metaphyses, the distal metaphysis of the tibia and the proximal metaphysis of the femur are best for individuals below and above 2 years of age, respectively. Growth of the metaphyses is similar to that of the diaphysis. Results suggest that age can be as accurately estimated from the width of the metaphyses and epiphyses as from the length of the diaphyses, or as from the length of the deciduous and permanent teeth.

Conclusions: These models may be useful for fragmentary material in both archaeological and forensic contexts. However, due to the background of the samples, the models would be most applicable to individuals exposed to adverse environmental conditions during growth and development. Metaphyseal and epiphyseal widths may be less affected by ecological conditions than diaphyseal length.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23081DOI Listing
January 2017

Humoral and cellular immune responses in mice against secreted and somatic antigens from a Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis attenuated strain: Immune response against a C. pseudotuberculosis strain.

BMC Vet Res 2016 Sep 8;12(1):195. Epub 2016 Sep 8.

Department of Biointeraction, Federal University of Bahia, Av. Reitor Miguel Calmon s/n, Vale do Canela, Salvador, BA, CEP 40110-100, Brazil.

Background: Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is the etiologic agent of caseous lymphadenitis (CL), a chronic disease that affects goats and sheep. CL is characterized by the formation of granulomas in lymph nodes and other organs, such as the lungs and liver. Current knowledge of CL pathogenesis indicates that the induction of humoral and cellular immune responses are fundamental to disease control. The aim of this study was to evaluate the humoral and cellular immune responses in BALB/c mice inoculated with a C. pseudotuberculosis strain isolated in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

Results: The lymphocyte proliferation and in vitro production of IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12 and nitric oxide by spleen cells stimulated with secreted and somatic antigens from the studied strain were evaluated. IgG subclasses were also analyzed. Results showed a significant increase of Th1-profile cytokines after 60 days post-inoculation, as well as an important humoral response, represented by high levels of IgG2a and IgG1 against C. pseudotuberculosis.

Conclusion: The T1 strain of C. pseudotuberculosis was shown to induce humoral and cellular immune responses in BALB/c mice, but, even at a dosage of 1x10(7) CFU, no signs of the disease were observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0811-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5017044PMC
September 2016

Comparing Known and Reconstructed Circumstances of Death Involving a Blunt Force Trauma Mechanism through a Retrospective Analysis of 21 Skeletonized Individuals.

J Forensic Sci 2016 Nov 21;61(6):1416-1430. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6, Canada.

Little is known about to what extent the events surrounding death can be reliably reconstructed from blunt force trauma analysis alone. In this study, we reconstruct circumstances of death from a blind blunt force trauma analysis using a sample of 21 individuals of known death circumstances, obtained from two identified skeletal collections in Portugal. Fresh versus dry bone trauma and probable mechanism of fracture production were identified. The overall pattern of injuries was then used to reconstruct the most likely circumstances of death. Results show an agreement between the proposed and the reported circumstances for 13 individuals (68.4%), disagreement for 3 (15.8%), and similarity in 3 cases (15.8%). Although the significant amount of agreement highlights the potential of trauma analysis, the cases with disagreement draw attention to the pitfalls and shortcomings of attempting to reconstruct the death circumstances from skeletal trauma analysis alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13128DOI Listing
November 2016

A Reappraisal of Developing Permanent Tooth Length as an Estimate of Age in Human Immature Skeletal Remains.

J Forensic Sci 2016 09 20;61(5):1180-9. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

Institute of Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Turner Street, London, E1 2AD, U.K.

This study expands on existing juvenile age prediction models from tooth length by increasing sample size and using classical calibration. A sample of 178 individuals from two European known sex and age skeletal samples was used to calculate prediction formulae for each tooth for each sex separately and combined. Prediction errors, residuals, and percentage of individuals whose real age fell within the 95% prediction interval were calculated. An ANCOVA was used to test sex and sample differences. Tooth length for age does not differ between the samples except for the canine and second premolar, and no statistically significant sex differences were detected. The least prediction error was found in the incisors and the first molar, and the highest prediction error was found in the third molar. Age prediction formulae provided here can be easily used in a variety of contexts where tooth length is measured from any isolated tooth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13120DOI Listing
September 2016

An alternative approach for estimating stature from long bones that is not population- or group-specific.

Forensic Sci Int 2016 Feb 19;259:59-68. Epub 2015 Dec 19.

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

An accurate and precise estimate of stature can be very useful in the analysis of human remains in forensic cases. A problem with many stature estimation methods is that an unknown individual must first be assigned to a specific group before a method can be applied. Group membership has been defined by sex, age, year of birth, race, ancestry, continental origin, nationality or a combination of these criteria. Univariate and multivariate sex-specific and generic equations are presented here that do not require an unknown individual to be assigned to a group before stature is estimated. The equations were developed using linear regression with a sample (n=244) from the Terry Collection and tested using independent samples from the Forensic Anthropology Databank (n=136) and the Lisbon Collection (n=85). Tests with these independent samples show that (1) the femur provides the best univariate results; (2) the best multivariate equation includes the humerus, femur and tibia lengths; (3) a generic equation that does not require an unknown to first be assigned to a given category provides the best results most often; (4) a population-specific equation does not provide better results for estimating stature; (5) sex-specific equations can provide slightly better results in some cases; however, estimating the wrong sex can have a negative impact on precision and accuracy. With these equations, stature can be estimated independently of age at death, sex or group membership.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.12.011DOI Listing
February 2016

The relationship between cadaver, living and forensic stature: A review of current knowledge and a test using a sample of adult Portuguese males.

Forensic Sci Int 2016 Jan 19;258:55-63. Epub 2015 Nov 19.

Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6 Canada; Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 Canada.

The use of cadaver length and forensic stature as a proxy for living standing height has not been scrutinized in detail. In this paper we present a brief review of the current knowledge on the relationship between cadaver, living and forensic stature; assess the magnitude and nature of the differences between these three measures of stature; and investigate the potential impact of these differences in forensic contexts. The study uses a sample of 84 males who were autopsied in 2008 at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Porto, Portugal), where stature data were collected from three different sources: cadaver stature was obtained from the corpse prior to autopsy, living stature was obtained from military conscription records and forensic stature was obtained from national citizenship identification card records. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA and linear regression are used to analyze the data. The results show that cadaver stature is the highest measure, followed by forensic and by living stature, and the difference between cadaver and living stature is greater than expected (4.3cm). Results also show considerable individual variation in the differences between the three measures of stature and that differences decrease with stature, although only slightly. This study has shown that the difference between cadaver and living stature is greater than previously thought and suggests that previously reported correction factors are a minimum rather than a mean correction. Forensic stature is likely to be incorrectly estimated and can jeopardize identification if methods estimate living rather than forensic stature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.10.012DOI Listing
January 2016

Is Demirjian's original method really useful for age estimation in a forensic context?

Forensic Sci Med Pathol 2015 Jun 21;11(2):216-21. Epub 2015 Feb 21.

Departamento de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Alameda Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto, Portugal.

Purpose: The suitability of Demirjian's method for forensic age estimation has been systematically questioned. The aim of this study is to further assess the reliability of Demirjian's original method in forensic age estimation using a sample of Portuguese children.

Methods: 564 panoramic radiographs of Portuguese boys and girls between 6 and 16 years of age were evaluated using Demirjian's method. Dental age (DA) was determined using the 50th percentile for the maturity score obtained for each age group. The mean difference between chronological age (CA) and dental age (DA) and the mean absolute difference between CA and DA were calculated for each age group. Paired t tests were used to test the statistical significance of mean differences between CA and DA. For each individual, a 94% confidence interval was calculated for estimated DA, using the 3rd and 97th percentiles in Demirjian's conversion tables.

Results: Chronological age was overestimated in boys, in every age group; mean differences between CA and DA were statistically significant, expect for age 7. In girls, chronological age was overestimated in the 10-15 year-old age group. The difference between CA and DA was highest in the 12 years olds for both sexes. The 94% confidence intervals did not include the true chronological age in all 6, 13, and 15 year-old girls, and all 14 and 15 year-old boys. Only a small portion of the individuals in the remaining age groups had their true chronological age falling within the probable age interval.

Conclusions: Results show a systematic bias and consistent inaccuracy in estimating age from dental development using Demirjian's original method, making this methodology unsuitable for age estimation in the study sample. These results add to published evidence which suggests that Demirjian's method is not suitable and should be abandoned altogether for forensic age estimation purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12024-015-9656-xDOI Listing
June 2015