The family register system used by the Tokugawa shogunate limited the ability of commoners to move freely from one location to another. It is thought that such restrictions on movement resulted in regional differences in lifestyle, including diet, arising from regional environmental differences. It is also likely that regional differences in lifestyle resulted in regional differences in health status, including oral health. In the present study, we examined differences in the dental pathology of commoners from two early modern settlements in Japan—the Kyoumachi site in Kokura, Fukuoka Prefecture and the Miwanoyama site in Nagareyama, Chiba Prefecture—as a preliminary analysis of regional differences in the dental pathology of early modern Japanese. We found that the prevalence of root caries and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL) were significantly higher in Miwanoyama commoners than in Kyoumachi commoners. In addition, the prevalence of severe enamel hypoplasia (EHP) in Miwanoyama commoners was significantly higher than that in Kyoumachi commoners, and the dental attrition of the Miwanoyama commoners was more severe than that of the Kyoumachi commoners. The present results therefore reveal considerable differences in dental pathology between commoners who lived in different areas. The high prevalence of root caries and AMTL in Miwanoyama suggests that periodontal disease spread among the commoners at this site, and the high prevalence of severe EHP and dental attrition in Miwanoyama suggests that the dietary status of the Miwanoyama commoners was inferior to that of the Kyoumachi commoners. We conclude that pathological differences in oral health status between the Miwanoyama and Kyoumachi commoners was most likely influenced by differences in lifestyle, including diet, arising from regional environmental differences.
The internal parameters of muscle used to calculate physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA), i.e. muscle mass (MM), muscle fascicle length (MFL), and muscle pennation angle (θ), were investigated for 23 forelimbs dissected carefully from 12 crab-eating macacques (Macaca fascicularis). The aims of this study were (1) to investigate how the postures of the limbs stored in formalin affect the muscle internal parameters (MM, MFL, θ) required to calculate PCSA; (2) to quantify the variation in MM, MFL, θ, and PCSA by determining the coefficient of variation (CV) for each parameter; (3) to validate evidence whether or not normalization using sarcomere length is valid considering the effects of differences in forelimb postures of specimens preserved in formalin on muscle internal parameters; (4) to validate evidence whether or not it is possible to compare MM, MFL, and PCSA values obtained here with those from previous similar studies; and finally (5) to devise a statistical criterion that can be applied to other studies. The results indicate that MM and θ were not affected by differences in the positions of formalin-preserved specimens. In contrast, the values of MFL were strongly affected by the limb posture of the fixed specimen such as the elbow flexion or extension, the medial or lateral rotation of the arm, and supination or pronation of the forearm. The values of CV for the normalized MM, normalized MFL, and normalized PCSA were high, whereas that for cos θ was low (around 5%). This indicates that the limb posture of the fixed specimen can be disregarded when measuring the muscle pennation angle. The muscle parameters obtained in the present study were compared with those in earlier studies and also discussed with reference to their data spread.
Historic and linguistic records indicate that Slovaks belong to the Slavic population. We performed a population genetic study on 250 unrelated Slovak males, who were typed for 12 Y-short tandem repeats (STRs) (DYS391, DYS389I, DYS439, DYS389II, DYS438, DYS437, DYS19, DYS392, DYS393, DYS390, DYS385a/b). The corresponding Y-haplogroups were deduced using Whit Athey’s Haplogroup Predictor. The most common haplogroup R1a is presented by 38% of individuals. The next two haplogroups (I2a and R1b) are presented at frequencies higher than 10%, 9 haplogroups range from 1 to 10% and 3 haplogroups are presented at frequencies lower than 1%. The obtained results show that a significant majority of the Slovak paternal gene pool belongs to Eastern European Y-lineages and indicate the Slavic origin. Pairwise analysis confirmed that our population is more similar to the surrounding populations, and less similar to those of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
Observable differences among craniomandibular specimens from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia have resulted in controversy regarding the number of represented taxa. In this study, the hominin dental remains from Dmanisi are analyzed to help determine whether the variation present in the Georgian assemblage likely reflects interspecific or intraspecific variation, including sexual dimorphism. Metric variation is assessed with resampling methodology by comparing the Dmanisi teeth with reference samples of extant hominoids. Comparisons were also made between the variation observed in the Georgian sample and that of Paranthropus boisei. The results provide evidence for the taxonomic homogeneity of the D211/D2282 and D2735/D2700 skulls. Whether D2600 should be included within this sample or considered distinct is less clear as the distal molar crown dimensions of this robust specimen are notably larger than the other Georgian fossils. Nonetheless, it is argued that the metric size variation expressed by the Dmanisi dental sample, including D2600, is insufficient to reject the null hypothesis of a single species.
Lowered partial oxygen pressure at high altitude exerts a strong selection pressure. Since hypoxia is most serious for the fetus, fetal hemoglobin genes (HBG1, HBG2) are candidates for genetic adaptation to high altitude. The aim of this study was to compare promoter polymorphisms of these genes for differences between highland and lowland populations. In 50 native highlanders of the Chilean Andes and 50 lowlanders of European ancestry, the promoters of HBG1 and HBG2 genes were sequenced. In the HBG1 promoter, the 4-basepair AGCA deletion was less frequently present in highlanders than in lowlanders (10% vs. 24%, P = 0.014). In the HBG2 promoter, the frequency of the T allele of the common −158 C > T polymorphism was decreased in highlanders, compared with lowlanders (8% vs. 34%, P = 0.000009). A combined analysis of both markers showed that none of the highlanders with the AGCA deletion carried the HBG2 T allele, in contrast to 43% of lowlanders (P = 0.030). Since the AGCA deletion is associated with diminished expression of fetal γ globin chains, it might affect fetal oxygen supply at high altitude. Both the AGCA deletion and the HBG2 −158 T allele are associated with a delayed fetal to adult globin switch after birth, resulting in a delayed production of adult hemoglobin, thereby possibly affecting the oxygen supply of infants at high altitude.
The aim of this paper is to describe the characteristics of growth in children of a fishing village in Indonesia, and to compare these with those of children in a city and in an agricultural village. The height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) of children (254 boys and 286 girls) aged 7–18 years in a fishing village in Sumatra were investigated, and the biological variables based on cross-sectional data were obtained by cubic spline analysis. The children are smaller and lighter than city children. In the fishing and agricultural villages, where an equivalent social status was observed, a similarity in growth patterns was exhibited. In the fishing village, the girls’ age at ‘peak,’ i.e. maximum yearly increment, height and weight occurred about 1 year earlier than that of the boys. Height and weight at ‘peak’ were 4.5 cm taller and 1.2 kg heavier in the boys than in girls. The girls exhibited greater BMI, as well as weight, than the boys after age 10. The BMI was greater in the girls than in the boys except at ages 7 and 9, and the three variables affecting the ‘peak’ (i.e. increment, age, and value at peak) were identical in both sexes. In conclusion, the children belonging to the same socioeconomic status, whether living in a fishing village or an agricultural village, showed a similar process of growth, and a comparison with children living in a city suggested the main factor affecting growth is the improvement in the socioeconomic conditions in Indonesia.
A cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the anthropometric profile and nutritional status based on body mass index (BMI) of adult Santals, a tribal population of Birbhum District, West Bengal, India. A total of 400 adult (aged >18 years) Santals of two villages of Birbhum District (approximately 160 km from Kolkata city) were studied. Anthropometric measurements including height, weight, circumferences, and skinfolds as well as BMI were measured using standard protocols. Overall, the extent of undernutrition (BMI < 18.5) was found to be fairly high (34.5%). The prevalence of undernutrition was higher in females (38.5%) compared to males (30.5%) although this difference was statistically not significant. Using the World Health Organization criterion, the prevalence of undernutrition (based on BMI) is moderately high and the situation is critical. In conclusion, this study provided evidence that the prevalence of adult undernutrition is very high among Santals. Thus, immediate appropriate nutritional intervention programs need to be implemented for this tribal population. Moreover, further research is needed not only among this ethnic group but also other tribal populations of India to fully understand the causes and consequences of adult undernutrition. Lastly, endeavors should be made to study the consequences of the functional impairments commonly associated with low BMI in this ethnic group.
This paper details an unusual morphology detected in two right foot bones, the calcaneus and navicular bone, of an adult female skeleton exhumed from the Late Roman cemetery of Miroiço (Sintra, Portugal). This anomaly seems to represent a case of unilateral non-osseous calcaneonavicular coalition. Tarsal coalitions are anatomical anomalies occasionally described in clinical and rarely in archeological samples. The present case appears to be the second earliest case reported of non-osseous calcaneonavicular coalition for European osteological samples and adds to the very few archeological case descriptions available.
The frequency distribution of supraorbital foramen (SOF) and hypoglossal canal bridging (HGCB) is investigated using the data of 71 cranial samples from various regions of the world. These two traits are confirmed to be effective in distinguishing between major human populations in the world. The unique incidence pattern of a low frequency of SOF and a high frequency of HGCB places the Jomon/Ainu in Japan in an outlying position in regard to major global human groups. Viewed from an evolutionary context, Sub-Saharan Africans and Australians with low frequencies of SOF and HGCB seem to retain an incipient physical condition of modern Homo sapiens.