Dental calculus gallery
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Fossilised dental plaque (calculus) on the teeth of a middle-aged man from the Medieval site of Dalheim, Germany, ca. AD 1100. Photo credit: Christina Warinner.
Applying a DNA-binding fluorescent dye to dental calculus makes it possible to see ancient DNA (blue). This image of 900-year-old dental calculus, magnified 630 times, literally glows with the DNA of millions of bacterial genomes. Photo credit: Natallia Shved.
Lead author of the study, Dr Christina Warinner, extracts ancient DNA under clean room conditions at the University of Zürich’s Centre for Evolutionary Medicine. Photo credit: Christina Warinner.
Isolation of ancient DNA from dental calculus. Photo credit: Christina Warinner.
Ancient dental calculus magnified 1,000 times reveals the presence of millions of Gram positive (blue) and Gram negative (red) oral bacteria fossilised in situ. Photo credit: Natallia Shved.