Why we should be excited by 100,000 year old human teeth from China

by Matthew Cobb


47 teeth, clearly from modern humans, have just been found in a massive cave system in southern China. They are dated to over 80,000 years ago – the date range is 80-120,000 years. There were no tools associated with the find, so the researchers asssume that people were not living in the cave system, but rather these teeth came from bodies that were dragged into the caves by large predators (hyena bones were also found). Here are the teeth – these could have been pulled from your mouth (although they probably show less decay than would be in your teeth – much less than in mine!). (Click on picture)

Chini teeth

Most teeth from fossils predating agriculture eras show little or no signs of dental carries due to low sugar and carbohydrate diets

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A Nutritional Dilemma

One current theme I’m following (see links) is  low carb high fat nutrition, commonly tagged #LCHF, and the battle that rages between that and #HCLF! Like North and South Poles, we have the LCHF Pole and the HCLF Pole. I must say what I can’t understand about this battle is that the science or physiology of nutrition supports LCHF and current medical advice supports dogmas going back 30-40 years. Poles apart. If engineering (my formal training) were  split like this I would not be using this laptop, buildings and other structures would collapse – we would not have cars or much any other technology. Product and services must be  supported properly by fundamental, scientific research.

There is a danger in getting research to products of course. The danger lies in marketing immaturely engineered product. Strong Commercial interests grease this process, greedy for profits.  The trick is to find balance between risk and reward- we have parallel engineering, new prototyping methods, a host of tools to bring ideas to market as soon as possible and obsolescence is now measured in months not decades.

What is happening in nutrition? You could argue that in the interests of health with lives are at stake,  that commercial interests would be greasing the wheels here as well. But it’s seemingly not the case Continue reading A Nutritional Dilemma