Publications by authors named "Jaroslav Brůzek"

54 Publications

A genome sequence from a modern human skull over 45,000 years old from Zlatý kůň in Czechia.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Modern humans expanded into Eurasia more than 40,000 years ago following their dispersal out of Africa. These Eurasians carried ~2-3% Neanderthal ancestry in their genomes, originating from admixture with Neanderthals that took place sometime between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago, probably in the Middle East. In Europe, the modern human expansion preceded the disappearance of Neanderthals from the fossil record by 3,000-5,000 years. The genetic makeup of the first Europeans who colonized the continent more than 40,000 years ago remains poorly understood since few specimens have been studied. Here, we analyse a genome generated from the skull of a female individual from Zlatý kůň, Czechia. We found that she belonged to a population that appears to have contributed genetically neither to later Europeans nor to Asians. Her genome carries ~3% Neanderthal ancestry, similar to those of other Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers. However, the lengths of the Neanderthal segments are longer than those observed in the currently oldest modern human genome of the ~45,000-year-old Ust'-Ishim individual from Siberia, suggesting that this individual from Zlatý kůň is one of the earliest Eurasian inhabitants following the expansion out of Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01443-xDOI Listing
April 2021

Age-related differences in cranial sexual dimorphism in contemporary Europe.

Int J Legal Med 2021 Mar 1. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 43, Prague, Czech Republic.

Biomechanical load and hormonal levels tended to change just like the soft and skeletal tissue of the elderly with age. Although aging in both sexes shared common traits, it was assumed that there would be a reduction of sexual dimorphism in aged individuals. The main goals of this study were (1) to evaluate age-related differences in cranial sexual dimorphism during senescence, (2) to determine age-related differences in female and male skulls separately, and (3) to compare skull senescence in Czech and French adult samples as discussed by Musilová et al. (Forensic Sci Int 269:70-77, 2016). The cranial surface was analyzed using coherent point drift-dense correspondence analysis. The study sample consisted of 245 CT scans of heads from recent Czech (83 males and 59 females) and French (52 males and 51 females) individuals. Virtual scans in the age range from 18 to 92 years were analyzed using geometric morphometrics. The cranial form was significantly greater in males in all age categories. After size normalization, sexual dimorphism of the frontal, occipital, and zygomatic regions tended to diminish in the elderly. Its development during aging was caused by morphological changes in both female and male skulls but secular changes must also be taken into account. The most notable aging changes were the widening of the neurocranium and the retrusion of the face, including the forehead, especially after the age of 60 in both sexes. Sexual dimorphism was similar between the Czech and French samples but its age-related differences were partially different because of the population specificity. Cranial senescence was found to degrade the accuracy of sex classification (92-94%) in the range of 2-3%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-021-02547-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Frontal sinus anatomy of the noble Swéerts-Sporck family and verification of their biological relationships using similarity analysis.

Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2020 Nov 2. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

The evaluation of frontal sinus similarity is one way to detect biological relationships, especially in small groups, including families of historically known personalities. However, possibilities for studying this issue are currently limited. This contribution deals with the frontal sinuses of a rare osteological sample with known genealogical data, members of the noble Swéerts-Sporck family from the 17th to 20th centuries. The aim is to verify whether the frontal sinuses reflect documented family relationships. Basic dimensions of the frontal sinus such as total surface area and volume, and maximum height and width, and also morphology and anatomical features were evaluated using computed tomography scans. The portions of the frontal sinus above the "external supraorbital line" were analyzed. The degree of similarity between biologically related individuals was determined for each variable and compared with their known biological distance. The degree of similarity based on dimensions was evaluated using both the unadjusted measured data and standardized data adjusted to size. For the unadjusted dimensions, a positive correlation between morphological similarity and biological relatedness was apparent. On the other hand, no positive correlation was apparent for most of the standardized data. Only total volume showed a very weak indication of a positive trend in the standardized data, but this was weaker than in the original values. A positive quantifiable relationship between morphological patterns and biological distance is not clearly indicated. However, nonmetric features do support the documented relationships of the individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ar.24564DOI Listing
November 2020

A test of the Bulut et al. (2016) landmark-free method of quantifying sex differences in frontal bone roundness in a contemporary Czech sample.

J Forensic Sci 2021 Mar 26;66(2):694-699. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

The skull, along with the pelvic bone, serves an important source of clues as to the sex of human skeletal remains. The frontal bone is one of the most significant sexually dimorphic structures employed in anthropological research, especially when studied by methods of virtual anthropology. For this reason, many new methods have been developed, but their utility for other populations remains to be verified. In the present study, we tested one such approach-the landmark-free method of Bulut et al. (2016) for quantifying sexually dimorphic differences in the shape of the frontal bone, developed using a sample of the Turkish population. Our study builds upon this methodology and tests its utility for the Czech population. We evaluated the shape of the male and female frontal bone using 3D morphometrics, comparing virtual models of frontal bones and corresponding software-generated spheres. To do so, we calculated the relative size of the frontal bone area deviating from the fitted sphere by less than 1 mm and used these data to estimate the sex of individuals. Using our sample of the Czech population, the method estimated the sex correctly in 72.8% of individuals. This success rate is about 5% lower than that achieved with the Turkish sample. This method is therefore not very suitable for estimating the sex of Czech individuals, especially considering the significantly greater success rates of other approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14603DOI Listing
March 2021

Advanced procedures for skull sex estimation using sexually dimorphic morphometric features.

Int J Legal Med 2020 Sep 5;134(5):1927-1937. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 44, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

This paper introduces an automated method for estimating sex from cranial sex diagnostic traits by extracting and evaluating specialized morphometric features from the glabella, the supraorbital ridge, the occipital protuberance, and the mastoid process. The proposed method was developed and evaluated using two European population samples, a Czech sample comprising 170 crania reconstructed from anonymized CT scans and a Greek sample of 156 crania from the Athens Collection. It is based on a fully automatic algorithm applied on 3D models for extracting sex diagnostic morphometric features which are further processed by computer vision and machine learning algorithms. Classification accuracy was evaluated in a population specific and a population generic 2-way cross-validation scheme. Population-specific accuracy for individual morphometric features ranged from 78.5 to 96.7%, whereas population generic correct classification ranged from 71.7 to 90.8%. Combining all sex diagnostic traits in multi-feature sex estimation yielded correct classification performance in excess of 91% for the entire sample, whereas the sex of about three fourths of the sample could be determined with 100% accuracy according to posterior probability estimates. The proposed method provides an efficient and reliable way to estimate sex from cranial remains, and it offers significant advantages over existing methods. The proposed method can be readily implemented with the skullanalyzer computer program and the estimate_sex.m GNU Octave function, which are freely available under a suitable license.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02334-9DOI Listing
September 2020

Biological relationships and frontal sinus similarity in skeletal remains with known genealogical data.

J Anat 2020 10 2;237(4):798-809. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Department of Anthropology, National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic.

Frontal sinus analysis has potential utility for detecting biologically related individuals. However, the methodological approach to its evaluation, as well as its informative value, have been questioned. The aim of this work is to introduce a new approach to evaluating the frontal sinus using the 'external supraorbital line' (ESOL) and to determine whether there are sex differences within families in frontal sinus measurements and whether frontal sinus similarity reflects known genetic relationships in both measurements and morphology. We examined the skeletal remains of 41 adult individuals (25 males, 16 females), all members of one family over four generations (19th to 20th centuries), including individuals with very close consanguinity. CT images of skulls were acquired, and both the dimensions and morphology of the frontal sinuses were analyzed using their portions above the ESOL. No significant sex differences were found within families based on frontal sinus dimensions. Significant relationships were found between biological distance and the maximum height and morphology of the frontal sinuses. The greatest degree of similarity was found among closely related individuals. Additionally, in several cases, there was a greater degree of similarity between first cousins or grandparents and their grandchildren than among siblings or parents and their children. Total surface, volume and width are not significant indicators of relatedness. Known genetic relationships are also supported by individual morphological features. Variability within families with very close consanguineous relationships was lower than within families with common degrees of consanguinity, although differences are significant only for some variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.13246DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495269PMC
October 2020

The relationship between adolescent obesity and pelvis dimensions in adulthood: a retrospective longitudinal study.

PeerJ 2020 11;8:e8951. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: The effect of fat tissue on a developing individual is fundamentally different from the effect on an adult. Several changes caused by obesity during sexual maturation have an irreversible and severe negative effect (lower fertility, reduced final height, type 2 diabetes mellitus) even for those who have subsequently lost weight. Our study was focused on monitoring the skeletal structure substantially influenced by sex hormones-the pelvis. The adult pelvis is strongly sexually dimorphic, which is not the case for the juvenile pelvis; skeletal differences between sexes are not so prominent and start to manifest with the onset of puberty. Evidence from animal models and case studies of treatment of gender dysphoria suggests that estrogens have a stimulatory effect on the growth plates present on the pelvis, leading to morphological change. Male obesity, especially in puberty, is connected with hypogonadism, manifesting in low levels of testosterone, and high levels of estrogens. The goal of our study was to evaluate the influence of obesity during adolescence on the morphology of the adult pelvis in the context of androgen and estrogen status.

Sample And Methods: Our sample consists of 238 individuals (144 females, 94 males) observed after an 8 year follow-up (mean age during enrollment 15.2 years, follow-up 23.3 years). Anthropometry and body composition using bioimpedance analysis (BIA) were obtained. During the follow-up, saliva samples from male participants were also collected to estimate testosterone and estradiol levels using the salivary ELISA kit (Salimetrics LLC, State College, PA, USA).

Results: The body fat (percentage of body fat estimated using BIA) was strongly positively associated with relative pelvic breadths in adulthood (males = 0.64; females = 0.56, both with < 0.001). Adulthood pelvic breadth was a highly sensitive (0.81) and specific (0.74) retrospective marker of obesity during adolescence. The complex regression model (with reduction of dimensionality) including testosterone, estradiol to testosterone ratio and body fat (adolescent and adulthood) was able to describe 54.8% variability of pelvic breadth among males.

Discussion: We observed that adults with a history of obesity from adolescence tend to have a wider dimension of the bony pelvis in adulthood. Based on the parameters of the adult pelvis, the history of obesity can be determined with satisfactory sensitivity and specificity (<70%). One of the explanations for this observation can be the influence of relatively elevated estrogens levels connected with excessive adiposity leading to a wider pelvis. However, the biomechanical stress connected with elevated body mass also has to be considered, as does the influence of physical activity and gait pattern on the skeletal build.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8951DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7224231PMC
May 2020

The impact of using new and conventional methods for the age-at-death estimation in a Czech medieval population (Mikulčice, 9-10 century): the relationship between age-at-death and linear enamel hypoplasia.

Anthropol Anz 2020 Aug;77(3):259-268

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7 - 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic.

Recent advances in age-at-death estimation from the skeleton indicate that some of the most commonly used methods based on linear regression provide different results compared to new techniques using Bayesian statistics, and underestimate individuals over 60 years old which leads to biased prehistoric lifespans. The question is how the choice of age-at-death estimation method can influence subsequent comparisons between different populations or further analysis, such as assessment of the effect of early stress on mortality in adult individuals. The aim of our work is twofold: firstly, to test the differences between age estimation methods evaluating one indicator (the auricular surface), namely the original (Lovejoy et al. 1985), revised (Buckberry & Chamberlain 2002) and newly developed (Schmitt 2005) methods, on the Early Medieval adult population from Mikulčice - III church (Czech Republic, Central Europe). The secondary objective is to assess whether the different age distributions based on the different methods have an impact on age-dependent analyses, in this case the relationship between LEH and age-at-death. Our results showed that in the adult population from Mikulčice - III church, the original and revised methods provided different mortality profiles: the proportion of individuals older than 60 years acquired using Lovejoy's method was only 6.7%, while the newer methods increased the proportion to 26.7% (Buckberry & Chamberlain 2002) and 23.9% (Schmitt 2005). The choice of age-at-death estimation, and thus the different age distributions, also resulted in differences in the achieved age of individuals with and without stress markers, and specifically in the significance of the differences found. This finding seeks to draw attention to the fact that inconsistency in the use of different age-estimation methods can influence the results of further analyses and cause problems when comparing burial grounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2020/1073DOI Listing
August 2020

A case of marked bilateral asymmetry in the sacral alae of the Neandertal specimen Regourdou 1 (Périgord, France).

Am J Phys Anthropol 2020 02 11;171(2):242-259. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, MCC, UMR5199 PACEA, Université de Bordeaux, Pessac Cedex, France.

Objectives: A marked asymmetry was previously reported in the sacral alae and S1-L5 facets orientation of the Neandertal individual Regourdou 1. Here, we provide a detailed description and quantification of the morphology and degree of asymmetry of this sacrum.

Material And Methods: Regourdou 1 was compared to a modern human sample composed of 24 females and 17 males, and to other Neandertal individuals. Both traditional and geometric morphometric analyses were used in order to quantify the degree of sacral asymmetry of Regourdou 1.

Results: The asymmetry of both sacral alae and facets orientation substantially exceeds directional and absolute asymmetry of the healthy modern sample. Regourdou 1 shows a considerably shorter right ala, which is absolutely and relatively outside of the modern and Neandertal variations.

Conclusion: Regourdou 1 shows marked sacral asymmetry that probably originated in early ontogenetic development. An asymmetric sacrum reflects asymmetric load dissipation and could relate to other morphological abnormalities observed in the skeleton, especially the mild scoliosis of the spine and the asymmetry of the femoral diaphyses. Further investigation is necessary to elucidate the relationship between those morphologies as well as a potential impact on the life of the individual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23968DOI Listing
February 2020

Impact of 3D surface scanning protocols on the Os coxae digital data: Implications for sex and age-at-death assessment.

J Forensic Leg Med 2019 Nov 5;68:101866. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, Prague, 128 43, Czech Republic; Laboratoire PACEA, UMR 5199, CNRS, Université Bordeaux, CS 50023, Pessac, 33615, France.

The 3D imaging technologies have become of paramount importance for example in disciplines such as forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology, where they are being used more and more frequently. There are several new possibilities that they offer; for instance, the easier and faster sharing of data among institutions, the possibility of permanent documentation, or new opportunities of data analysis. An important requirement, however, is whether the data obtained from different scanning devices are comparable and whether the possible varying outputs could affect further analyses, such as the estimation of the biological profile. Therefore, we aimed to investigate two important questions: (1) whether 3D models acquired by two different scanning technologies (structured light and laser) are comparable and (2) whether the scanning equipment has an effect on the anthropological analyses, such as age-at-death estimation and sex assessment. 3D models of ossa coxa (n = 29) were acquired by laser (NextEngine) and structured light (HP 3D Structured Light Scanner PRO 2) scanners. The resulting 3D models from both scanners were subjected to age-at-death analyses (via the quantitative method of Stoyanova et al., 2017) and sex analyses (via Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste 2 of Brůžek et al., 2017). Furthermore, high quality scans of a small sample (n = 5) of pubic symphyseal surfaces with the RedLux Profiler device were acquired as reference surfaces to which the outputs from both scanners were compared. Small deviations between surfaces were more evident in more rugged surfaces (in areas of depression and protrusion). Even though small differences from the reference surfaces were found, they did not have a significant effect on the age and sex estimates. It never resulted in the opposite sex assignment, and no significant differences were observed between age estimates (with the exception of those with the TPS/BE model).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2019.101866DOI Listing
November 2019

Early medieval diet in childhood and adulthood and its reflection in the dental health of a Central European population (Mikulčice, 9-10 centuries, Czech Republic).

Arch Oral Biol 2019 Nov 14;107:104526. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Department of Anthropology, National Museum, Václavské náměstí 68, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Objectives: The aim of this study is to provide a detailed view of dental health in relationship to the diet of the Great Moravian population, with emphasis on childhood diet.

Design: We studied skeletal samples of the early medieval population of the Mikulčice agglomeration (Czech Republic) originating from the cemetery of the church VI (91 adults). Stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen (intra-individual sampling - tooth and bone) was performed on this material, and dental characteristics (carious lesions, intensity of caries (I-CE), dental wear, linear enamel hypoplasia) evaluated.

Results: Isotopic signals obtained from tooth and bone samples of the same individuals differ significantly. Tooth samples show higher δC and lower δN than bone samples. δN in tooth and bone samples is related to socio-economic status. We discovered a relationship between isotopic signals from tooth or bone and intensity of caries and dental wear.

Conclusion: We provide the first direct information about the diet of the juvenile part of the Great Moravian population from Mikulčice. The diet of children differed from the diet of adults. Children consumed more millet and less animal protein than adults. The social stratification of this population was obvious in dietary composition from childhood. Elites consumed more animal proteins than non-elite individuals. Tooth decay was related to relative consumption of plant and animal proteins. Greater dental wear is related to a diet based on C3 plants. There was no significant connection between diet composition and the formation of enamel hypoplasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2019.104526DOI Listing
November 2019

A method of sexing the human os coxae based on logistic regressions and Bruzek's nonmetric traits.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2019 07 15;169(3):435-447. Epub 2019 May 15.

Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - MCC, UMR 5199 PACEA, Pessac, France.

Objectives: This study aims at proposing a visual method for sexing the human os coxae based on a statistical approach, using a scoring system of traits described by Bruzek (2002). This method is evaluated on a meta-population sample, where the data were acquired by direct observation of dry bones as well as computed tomography (CT) scans. A comparison with the original Bruzek's (2002) method is performed.

Materials And Methods: Five hundred and ninety two ossa coxae of modern humans are included in the reference dataset. Two other samples, composed respectively of 518 ossa coxae and 99 CT-scan images, are both used for validation purposes. The individuals come from five European or North American population samples. Eleven trichotomic traits (expressing female, male, or intermediate forms) were observed on each os coxae. The new approach employs statistical processing based on logistic regressions. An R package freely available online, PELVIS, implements both methods.

Results: Both methods provide highly reliable sex estimates. The new statistical method has a slightly better accuracy rate (99.2%) than the former method (98.2%) but has also a higher rate of indeterminate individuals (12.9% vs. 3% for complete bones).

Conclusion: The efficiency of both methods is compared. Low error rates were preferred over high ability of reaching the classification threshold. The impact of lateralization and the asymmetry of observed traits are discussed. Finally, it is shown that this visual method of sex estimation is reliable and easy to use through the graphical user interface of the R package.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23855DOI Listing
July 2019

An isotopic case study of individuals with syphilis from the pathological-anatomical reference collection of the national museum in Prague (Czech Republic, 19th century A.D.).

Int J Paleopathol 2019 06 30;25:46-55. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Department of Anthropology, National Museum, Václavské námĕstí 68, 11579, Praha 1, Czech Republic.

Objective: This paper aims at investigating the possible existence of isotopic offsets in δC and δN values in relation to tertiary syphilis.

Material: Based on materials from the 19th c. A.D. deriving from the pathological-anatomical reference collection (the Jedlička collection) of the National Museum in Prague (Czech Republic), a comparative approach of ten individuals with syphilis and nine without the disease was undertaken.

Methods: Bone powder samples were defatted according to the protocol of Liden et al. (1995). Bone collagen was extracted following the protocol of Bocherens et al. (1991).

Results: Our results show that individuals with syphilis have lower δC values than individuals without the disease; the observed difference between the two groups is about 0.3-0.4‰, which is relatively small but still meaningful. However, no difference between δN values of the two groups has been noticed.

Conclusions: Either diets prescribed by physicians to syphilitic patients or nutritional stress caused by cyclic appetite disturbance due to the disease itself or the administered medical treatment appeared to be possible explanations of the observed isotopic pattern. Overall, the response of the two isotopic proxies could argue for relatively limited nutritional restrictions.

Significance: This is the first study examining bone collagen isotopic response to syphilis based on clinically documented human skeletal materials.

Limitations: The sample sizes are relatively small and cautiousness must be taken regarding the interpretations of the data.

Suggestions For Further Research: Compound-specific stable isotope investigations and analysis of mercury content could be helpful to better understand the observed isotopic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2019.04.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Sex estimation using external morphology of the frontal bone and frontal sinuses in a contemporary Czech population.

Int J Legal Med 2019 Jul 14;133(4):1285-1294. Epub 2019 Apr 14.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 44, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

Sex estimation is a task of utmost importance in forensic anthropology and bioarcheology. Along with the pelvic bone, the skull is the most important source of sexual dimorphism. On the human skull, the upper third of the face (i.e., the frontal bone) is one of the most significant sexually dimorphic structures useful in anthropological research, especially when studied by methods of virtual anthropology. This study was focused on sex estimation using the form and shape of the external surface of the frontal bone with or without the inclusion of its sinuses. The study sample consisted of 103 cranial CT images from a contemporary Czech population. Three-dimensional virtual models of the frontal bones and sinuses were analyzed using geometric morphometrics and multidimensional statistics: coherent point drift-dense correspondence analysis (CPD-DCA), principal component analysis (PCA), and support vector machine (SVM). The whole external frontal surface was significantly different between males and females both in form and shape. The greatest total success rate of sex estimation based on form was 93.2%, which decreased to 86.41% after crossvalidation, and this model identified females and males with the same accuracy. The best estimation based on shape reached a success rate of 91.26%, with slightly greater accuracy for females. After crossvalidation, however, the success rate decreased to 83.49%. The differences between sexes were significant also in the volume and surface of the frontal sinuses, but the sex estimation had only 64.07% accuracy after crossvalidation. Simultaneous use of the shape of the frontal surface and the frontal sinuses improved the total success rate to 98.05%, which decreased to 84.46% after crossvalidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-019-02063-8DOI Listing
July 2019

Sex and ancestry related differences between two Central European populations determined using exocranial meshes.

Forensic Sci Int 2019 Apr 26;297:364-369. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czech Republic.

Assessing sex and population affinity is an important part of the process of biologically identifying unknown human remains, and the skull is usually one of the best structures for assessing both these components of the biological profile. Population affinity is known to be a hugely important variable when estimating sex because the manifestation of sexually dimorphic traits, body size or social and behavioural habits differs across populations. Therefore, for forensic purposes, the estimation of ancestry is a necessary step in the identification of bone remains. The present study improves on the results of a previously developed virtual method using the exocranial surface for sex estimation and assessing population affinity. The ability to assess these components of the biological profile was successfully tested on 208 individuals from two recent European populations. The original classifier was based on geometric morphometric analyses (CPD-DCA, PCA, SVM) and was able to assess the sex of individuals belonging to one French population with an accuracy exceeding 90 % Musilová et al. [1]. To improve the reliability of the method, the Czech population sample was added to the dataset, yielding the highest accuracy of 96.2 %; using the combined dataset, the reliability of the method was 91.8 %. Secondly, we used the same method utilizing inter-population differences to classify individuals based on the shape of the skull. The greatest accuracy rate was 92.8 %, which makes our method a promising tool for sex estimation and assessing population affinity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.02.034DOI Listing
April 2019

Sex estimation of os coxae using DSP2 software: A validation study of a Greek sample.

Forensic Sci Int 2019 Apr 21;297:371.e1-371.e6. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Vini9cná 7, Prague, 128 43, Czech Republic; UMR 5199 PACEA, University of Bordeaux, CNRS, Pessac, France.

Sex estimation methods based on skeletal remains vary on the selection of skeletal element, data acquisition and statistical approach resulting in variable classification accuracies that are highly dependent on the sample population. The only exception of this rule seems to be the os coxa, that appears to differ consistently between males and females across the globe. Currently sex estimation based on the os coxa can be easily estimated by taking ten measurements, inputting these in the DPS2 software and getting a sex estimate and the probability of correct group assessment. The performance of the software is highly reliable as confirmed by a validation study by Brůžek et al. (2017). Yet, there are still many populations not represented in the reference sample used to develop the software. The current study aimed to validate DPS2 using a sample from Crete, Greece. A total of 133 os coxae were measured following instructions on DSP2. Data were used to estimate sex with the software and to create population specific formulae for Greeks. DSP2 classified 117/133 (85.7%) of the sample with over 95% posterior probability (PP) of correct classification. Of the individuals classified with over 95% PP, only 3 were misclassified (2.6%).The best population specific formula only improved this percentage by 2.1% which indicates that DSP2 is a reliable tool for sex estimation in the Greek sample and it is recommended as method of choice in sex estimation of remains of unknown ancestry. If Greek ancestry is confirmed, population-specific formulae can be used in conjunction with DSP2 for a more reliable sex estimation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.02.011DOI Listing
April 2019

A time of change: dietary reconstruction of the Merovingian cemetery of Norroy-le-Veneur, France.

Anthropol Anz 2018 Dec;75(4):325-338

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 43, Praha 2, Czech Republic.

The aim of this work was to analyse the diet of a Merovingian population sample of 80 individuals buried at Norroy-le-Veneur, France, with regard to their social status and chronology. A carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of human adult bone collagen and related fauna from the same cemetery showed a diet based primarily on C plants, supplemented with animal protein in a range comparable to other contemporary sites. No significant contribution of C plants (e.g. millet) or marine-derived protein was detected. In terms of socio-economic stratification, individuals buried with rich grave good assemblages formed a narrow group with a significantly higher mean of δC than low-ranking individuals. We argue that this may represent a step in the gradual formation of the dietary exclusivity of Frankish elites, following a progressive rise in power of the Merovingian nobility. Also, during the timespan of the cemetery there was a population-wide decrease of 0.3 ‰ in the mean value of δC. The role of the Christian conversion of the population is questioned, but another factor influencing diet might have played a role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2018/0834DOI Listing
December 2018

Architecture of the femoral and tibial diaphyses in relation to body mass and composition: Research from whole-body CT scans of adult humans.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2018 12 24;167(4):813-826. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

Laboratory of 3D Imaging and Analytical Methods, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Charles University, Praha 2, Czech Republic.

Objectives: Recent investigations have evaluated the influence of body composition on long bones in order to overcome the limits of body mass (BM) estimation methods and eventually lead to studying nutrition in past populations. Knowing how fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) impact the skeleton would also enhance the understanding of mobility, activity, and locomotion derived from bone architecture. We investigated the relationship between BM and composition, and the architecture of the entire tibial and femoral diaphyses in an adult sample representative of a wide range of variation in age, BM, and composition.

Materials And Methods: Body composition was measured directly from 78 whole-body CT scans for which the age, sex, BM, and stature were recorded. The entire diaphyseal thickness, volume, curvature, and cross-sectional geometry parameters of both the femur and tibia were numerically extracted.

Results: FM correlates with large portions of the femoral thickness in females only. FFM correlates with the femoral diaphysis in males but not in females. FFM correlates with the tibia architecture in both sexes, while FM is correlated in males exclusively.

Discussion: BM and body components influence the architecture of the diaphysis of lower limb long bones in sex-specific patterns that are mostly reflected in their thickness and can be recorded, in some cases, for their strength, rigidity, and volume. Our results suggest that (1) long bone diaphyses should be thoroughly studied, as a whole, when possible; and (2) BM and body components should be accounted for when deriving activity, mobility, or locomotion patterns from cortical bone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23713DOI Listing
December 2018

Facial approximation of Tycho Brahe's partial skull based on estimated data with TIVMI-AFA3D.

Forensic Sci Int 2018 Nov 9;292:131-137. Epub 2018 Aug 9.

Department of Culture and Society-Section for Medieval and Renaissance Archaeology, Aarhus University, Moesgaard Alle 20, DK 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark.

The virtual approach in physical and forensic anthropology is increasingly used to further analyze human remains, but also to propose new didactic means for visualization and dissemination of scientific results. Computerized facial approximation (FA) offers an alternative to manual methods, but usually requires a complete facial skeleton to allow for the estimation of the facial appearance of an individual. This paper presents the case of Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer born during the XVIth century, whose remains were reanalyzed at the occasion of a short exhumation in 2010. Cranial remains of Brahe were poorly preserved, with only a partial facial skeleton, and virtual anthropology tools were used to estimate the missing parts of his skull. This 3D restoration was followed by a FA using TIVMI-AFA3D, subsequently textured with graphic tools. The result provided an interesting estimate that was compared with portraits of the astronomer. The impact of the missing data estimation was investigated by performing FAs on 10 complete test subjects and the same 10 subjects after cropping and estimating 50% of the landmarks (reproducing the preservation state of Tycho Brahe's cranial remains). The comparison between the FA based on the complete and incomplete skulls of the same subject produced a visual assessment of the estimation impact on FAs which is relatively low. This procedure is an alternative to manual methods and offers a reproducible estimate of a face based on incomplete cranial remains. Although the case report concerns a historical individual, the robust automatic estimation of missing landmarks followed by a FA has value for forensic caseworks as a support to the identification process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.08.002DOI Listing
November 2018

A validation study of the Stoyanova et al. method (2017) for age-at-death estimation quantifying the 3D pubic symphyseal surface of adult males of European populations.

Int J Legal Med 2019 Mar 15;133(2):603-612. Epub 2018 Sep 15.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 43, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

The age-at-death estimation thresholds have recently been shifted towards a more objective assessment of the aging process. Such a non-subjective approach offers quantitative methods of age estimation; for instance, the method relating to the surfaces of pubic symphyses of males published by Stoyanova et al. (J Forensic Sci 62:1434-1444, 2017). A validation study was conducted to test the method performance in European samples. The sample consisted of 96 meshes of pubic symphyses of male individuals (known sex and age) that came from four different samples (two Portuguese collections, one Swiss, and one Crete). Stoyanova's method based on five regression models (three univariate and two multivariate models) performed worse in our sample, but only when the whole sample (without age limitation) was included. A sample limited to individuals under 40 years of age achieved better results in our study. The best results were reached through the thin plate spline algorithm (TPS/BE) with a root mean square error of 5.93 years and inaccuracy of 4.47 years. Generally, the multivariate regression models did not contribute to better age estimation. In our sample in all age categories, age was systematically underestimated. The quantitative method tested in this study works best for individuals under 40 years of age and provides a suitable basis for further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-018-1934-1DOI Listing
March 2019

Virtual reconstruction of the Upper Palaeolithic skull from Zlatý Kůň, Czech Republic: Sex assessment and morphological affinity.

PLoS One 2018 30;13(8):e0201431. Epub 2018 Aug 30.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

The incomplete cranium discovered at the Zlatý kůň site in the Bohemian Karst is a rare piece of skeletal evidence of human presence in Central Europe during the Late Glacial period. The relative position of cranial fragments was restored and missing parts of the cranium were virtually reconstructed using mirroring and the Thin-plate splines algorithm. The reconstruction allowed us to collect principal cranial measurements, revise a previous unfounded sex assignment and explore the specimen's morphological affinity. Visual assessment could not reliably provide a sexual diagnosis, as such methods have been developed on modern populations. Using a population-specific approach developed on cranial measurements collected from the literature on reliably sexed European Upper Palaeolithic specimens, linear discriminant analysis confirmed previous assignment to the female sex. However, caution is necessary with regard to the fact that it was assessed from the skull. The Zlatý kůň specimen clearly falls within the range of Upper Palaeolithic craniometric variation. Despite the shift in cranial variation that accompanied the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Zlatý kůň skull exhibits a morphological affinity with the pre-LGM population. Several interpretations are proposed with regard to the complex population processes that occurred after the LGM in Europe.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0201431PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116938PMC
January 2019

Kinship and morphological similarity in the skeletal remains of individuals with known genealogical data (Bohemia, 19th to 20th centuries): A new methodological approach.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2018 11 20;167(3):541-556. Epub 2018 Aug 20.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czech Republic.

Objectives: This article proposes a new approach, called the "similarity coefficient" (SC) for verifying family relationships from skeletal remains using nonmetric traits. Based on this method and further analyses, the authors aim to show the degree of similarity between individuals with varying degrees of kinship, including inbred individuals.

Materials And Methods: Our sample includes the skeletal remains of 34 individuals with known genealogical data (four generations, 19th to 20th centuries). A total of 243 skeletal nonmetric traits were evaluated with respect to their anatomical characteristics. The SC was calculated by quantifying the agreement of trait occurrence between individuals. We also identified the traits that support the biological relationships of particular individuals by accounting for their population frequencies.

Results: There was a positive correlation between the morphological similarity of biologically related individuals and their biological distance. In some cases, we found greater degree of morphological similarity between first cousins than among other close relatives such as parents and children. At the same time, there was no statistically significant difference in the degree of similarity between inbred individuals and common relatives. Proven family relationships were best reflected by cranial traits, especially bone bridges associated with the courses of blood vessels and nerves.

Conclusions: The use of skeletal nonmetric traits for the detection of relatives is possible. There is a relationship between biological distance and the degree of morphological similarity in related individuals. It also appears that inbreeding, despite previous assumptions, does not lead to a significant reduction in morphological variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23683DOI Listing
November 2018

Age estimation of adult human remains from hip bones using advanced methods.

Forensic Sci Int 2018 Jun 4;287:163-175. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Centre for Functional Ecology, Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal.

The assessment of age-at-death is an important and challenging part of investigations of human skeletal remains. The main objective of the present study was to apply different mathematical approaches in order to reach more accurate and reliable results in age estimation. A multi-ethnic dataset (n=941) of evaluated age-related changes on the pubic symphysis and the auricular surface of the hip bone was used. Two research groups examined nine different mathematical approaches. The best results were reached by Multi-linear regression, followed by the Collapsed regression model, with MAE values of 9.7 and 9.9 years, respectively, and with RMSE values of 12.1 and 12.2, respectively. The mean accuracy of decision tree models ranged between 30.7% and 72.3%, with the model using only the PUSx indicator performing the best. Moreover, our results indicate that the limiting factor of age estimation can be the visual evaluation of age-related changes. Further research is required to objectify the proposed methods for estimating age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.03.047DOI Listing
June 2018

Rich table but short life: Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis in Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) and its possible consequences.

PLoS One 2018 19;13(4):e0195920. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

PACEA-UMR 5199, University of Bordeaux, Pessac, France.

The exhumation of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was performed in 2010 to verify speculative views on the cause of his death. Previous analyses of skeletal and hair remains recovered from his grave refuted the presumption that he died from poisoning. These studies also outlined the possibility that he actually died from an acute illness, echoing the rather vague and inaccurate testimony of some historical records. We performed a detailed paleopathological analysis of Tycho Brahe's skeletal remains, along with a reconstruction of his diet based on carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes analysis and an estimate of his physical status (relative body fat) based on medullar and cortical dimensions of the femoral shaft. The astronomer's remains exhibit bone changes indicative of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). The study further allows us to classify him as obese (100% reliability according to our decision tree designed from Danish males), and points out his rich diet (high input of animal protein and/or marine resources) and high social status. Comorbidities of DISH and obesity are reviewed, and their influence on health status is discussed. We further consider some conditions associated with metabolic syndrome as possible causes of Tycho Brahe's final symptoms (urinary retention, renal failure and coma), including diabetes, alcoholic ketoacidosis and benign prostatic hypertrophy. Although a definite and specific diagnosis cannot be established, our study points to today's civilization diseases often associated with DISH and metabolic syndrome as the possible cause of death of Tycho Brahe.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0195920PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5909615PMC
July 2018

Sex-specific functional adaptation of the femoral diaphysis to body composition.

Am J Hum Biol 2018 07 24;30(4):e23123. Epub 2018 Mar 24.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Charles University - Viničná 7, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic.

Objectives: The human femoral diaphysis is often used to reconstruct loading histories (mobility, activity, body mass). The proximal femur is known to be differentially affected by changes in total fat-mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and body fat percentage (BF%), but the adaptation of the entire diaphysis to body composition has not been thoroughly characterized to date. Understanding how the femoral diaphysis adapts to body components would benefit biomechanical interpretations of the femoral variation and nutrition-related studies.

Methods: Combining various methods from clinical nutrition, biological anthropology, and geometric morphometrics, we evaluated the correlation of measures taken on the entire femoral diaphysis with estimated FM, FFM, and BF% from 61 CT scans (17 females, 44 males). The sample was predominantly composed of people with obesity.

Results: Cortical area of the cross-sections and local cortical thickness showed high correlation with BF% in particular, in females only. The curvature significantly decreased with FM and BF% in both sexes. The lowest correlations are found with FFM.

Conclusions: The observed sexual dimorphism is consistent with differing aging processes; cortical bone decreases in females through endosteal resorption while it remains almost constant in males who compensate for endosteal resorption by periosteal apposition on the diaphyseal surface. The functional adaptation to compressive forces indicates a systemic endosteal apposition of bone material with increased BF% and FM in females only. FM and BF% are linked to a straighter femur in both sexes, suggesting an optimization of the resistance to compressive loads by distributing them more linearly along the entire diaphysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23123DOI Listing
July 2018

Body mass estimation from the skeleton: An evaluation of 11 methods.

Forensic Sci Int 2017 Dec 22;281:183.e1-183.e8. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Charles University, Laboratory of 3D Imaging and Analytical Methods, Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Viničná 7, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic; Université de Bordeaux, PACEA, UMR 5199, CNRS - Bâtiment B8, Allée Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, CS 50023, F-33400 Talence, France.

Estimating an individual body mass (BM) from the skeleton is a challenge for forensic anthropology. However, identifying someone's BMI (Body Mass Index) category, i.e. underweight, normal, overweight or obese, could contribute to identification. Individual BM is also known to influence the age-at-death estimation from the skeleton. Several methods are regularly used by both archaeologists and forensic practitioners to estimate individual BM. The most commonly used methods are based on femoral head breadth, or stature and bi-iliac breadth. However, those methods have been created from mean population BMs and are therefore meant to estimate the average BM of a population. Being that they are based on individual BM data and estimated femoral cortical areas, the newest published methods are supposed to be more accurate. We evaluated the accuracy and reliability of the most commonly used and most recent BM estimation methods (n=11) on a sample of 64 individuals. Both sexes and all BMI categories are represented, as well as a wide range of BM. Ages in this sample range from 20 to 87 years of age. Absolute and real differences between actual BM and estimated BM were assessed; they determined the accuracy for individual BM estimation and for average BM estimation of a population, respectively. The proportion of the sample whose estimated BM falls within ±10% and ±20% of their actual BM determines the reliability of the methods in our sample for, respectively, individual BM estimation and average BM of a population. The tested methods result in an absolute difference of 11kg-26kg±10kg with regards to prediction of individuals actual BM. The real differences are very variable from method to method, ranging from -14kg to 25kg. None of the tested methods is able to estimate BM of half of the sample within ±10% of their actual BM but most of them can estimate BM of more than half of the sample within ±20% of their actual BM. The errors increase with increasing BM, demonstrating a bias in all the methods. No bone variable tested correlated with BM. BMI categories were correctly predicted for less than 50% of the sample in most cases. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the 11 methods tested are not suited for estimating individual BM or for predicting BMI categories. However, they are accurate and reliable enough for estimating the average BM of a population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.10.026DOI Listing
December 2017

Semiautomatic extraction of cortical thickness and diaphyseal curvature from CT scans.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2017 12 15;164(4):868-876. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Viničná 7, Praha 2, 128 43, Czech Republic.

The understanding of locomotor patterns, activity schemes, and biological variations has been enhanced by the study of the geometrical properties and cortical bone thickness of the long bones measured using CT scan cross-sections. With the development of scanning procedures, the internal architecture of the long bones can be explored along the entire diaphysis. Recently, several methods that map cortical thickness along the whole femoral diaphysis have been developed. Precise homology is vital for statistical examination of the data; however, the repeatability of these methods is unknown and some do not account for the curvature of the bones. We have designed a semiautomatic workflow that improves the morphometric analysis of cortical thickness, including robust data acquisition with minimal user interaction and considering the bone curvature. The proposed algorithm also performs automatic landmark refinement and rigid registration on the extracted morphometric maps of the cortical thickness. Because our algorithm automatically reslices the diaphysis into 100 cross-sections along the medial axis and uses an adaptive thresholding method, it is usable on CT scans that contain soft tissues as well as on bones that have not been oriented specifically prior to scanning. Our approach exhibits considerable robustness to error in user-supplied landmarks, suppresses distortion caused by the curvature of the bones, and calculates the curvature of the medial axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23315DOI Listing
December 2017

Validation and reliability of the sex estimation of the human os coxae using freely available DSP2 software for bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2017 10 17;164(2):440-449. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Centre for Functional Ecology, Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Life Sciences Department, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, 3000-456, Portugal.

Objectives: A new tool for skeletal sex estimation based on measurements of the human os coxae is presented using skeletons from a metapopulation of identified adult individuals from twelve independent population samples. For reliable sex estimation, a posterior probability greater than 0.95 was considered to be the classification threshold: below this value, estimates are considered indeterminate. By providing free software, we aim to develop an even more disseminated method for sex estimation.

Materials And Methods: Ten metric variables collected from 2,040 ossa coxa of adult subjects of known sex were recorded between 1986 and 2002 (reference sample). To test both the validity and reliability, a target sample consisting of two series of adult ossa coxa of known sex (n = 623) was used. The DSP2 software (Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste v2) is based on Linear Discriminant Analysis, and the posterior probabilities are calculated using an R script.

Results: For the reference sample, any combination of four dimensions provides a correct sex estimate in at least 99% of cases. The percentage of individuals for whom sex can be estimated depends on the number of dimensions; for all ten variables it is higher than 90%. Those results are confirmed in the target sample.

Discussion: Our posterior probability threshold of 0.95 for sex estimate corresponds to the traditional sectioning point used in osteological studies. DSP2 software is replacing the former version that should not be used anymore. DSP2 is a robust and reliable technique for sexing adult os coxae, and is also user friendly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23282DOI Listing
October 2017

Spatial distribution of trace element Ca-normalized ratios in primary and permanent human tooth enamel.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Dec 23;603-604:308-318. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, UMR 5276 CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46, Allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France. Electronic address:

The trace elements distribution embedded in tooth enamel offers a means to study exposure of toxic metals and allows the reconstruction of dietary behaviors. The quantification of most of the elements with a spatial high resolution (~50μm) is routinely achieved using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). However, the lack of a comprehensive framework of trace elements distribution in enamel jeopardizes any endorsed sampling strategy using LA-ICPMS. The present work is an effort to improve our knowledge on this issue. We studied a suite of 22 sectioned teeth with known dietary history, including 12 3rd molars from 12 living individuals and 10 primary teeth from 3 living individuals. Using LA-ICPMS, we measured Ca, Cu, Zn, Ni, Sr, Ba and Pb variations along 2 or 3 rasters from cervical to occlusal enamel. Calcium concentrations are lower in primary than in permanent teeth and do not vary spatially within a tooth suggesting that enamel matures homogeneously before eruption. The Pb/Ca ratio does not vary within tooth enamel and between primary and permanent tooth enamel. The Cu/Ca and Ni/Ca ratios do not vary within tooth enamel but discriminate primary from permanent tooth enamel. The Zn/Ca ratios are higher in permanent than in primary tooth enamel, and increase up to an order of magnitude in the last hundred of microns at the enamel surface. The Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios are higher in permanent than in primary tooth enamel, and decrease from the enamel-dentine junction towards outer enamel in permanent but not in primary tooth enamel. Considering the Ca-normalized intra-tooth variations of Zn, Sr and Ba, we recommend to perform laser ablation rasters along the enamel-dentine junction because this area is likely to retain most of the original and complete chemical information related to individual's life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.021DOI Listing
December 2017

Geometric morphometric and traditional methods for sex assessment using the posterior ilium.

Leg Med (Tokyo) 2017 May 18;26:52-61. Epub 2017 Mar 18.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 44 Prague, Czech Republic; UMR 5199 PACEA, University of Bordeaux, Bâtiment B8, Allée Geoffroy Saint Hillaire, 33615 Pessac, France.

The human hip bone is generally accepted as the most reliable bone for sex estimation in forensic and bioarchaeological disciplines. However, it is seldom completely preserved. The best preserved region is typically around the sacroiliac joint and its auricular surface; it is therefore surprising that this surface has not been involved in standard sexing methods. The aim of this study was to explore the shape and size sexual dimorphism of the auricular surface in detail and to compare its sex estimation accuracy using the geometric morphometric (GM) and traditional methodological approach. Our sample consisted of 121 specimens from 3 European osteological collections. The GM part of the study was based on 2D sliding semilandmarks that covered the outline of the auricular surface. Furthermore, several linear measurements and visual features (e.g. auricular surface elevation, postauricular sulcus) were chosen to test sex estimation accuracy using support vector machines. Concerning the GM analysis, the most notable sexual differences in the auricular surface outline relate to size. The best accuracy was achieved using form variables reaching 81.0%. Comparable accuracy (80.2%) was achieved using the metric approach, but combined with visual features the accuracy was increased to 93.4%. The GM approach was not very efficient in sexing the auricular surface outline, but the combination of visual features from the posterior ilium and metric variables of the auricular surface could be useful in sex estimation. Therefore, we provide a further testable linear discriminant equation based on this combination of variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.03.004DOI Listing
May 2017