Britain Oldest Skeleton gets a makeover, he had deep blue eyes and dark skin.

Cheddar Man is the oldest discovered Skeleton in Great Britain.

It was discovered in Gough’s Cave near in Bristol in 1903, 115 years ago.

Cheddar Skeleton is about 10.000 years old but the team of the London National  History Museum, lead by Ian Barnes, managed to recover the full genome from its skull’s temporal bone.

This analysis is the first to be done on a Briton of the Mesolithic age.

The genome has been analyzed with the researchers of  University College London to recreate the probable physical aspect of the Cheddar man.

He had dark hair skin and blue eyes.

Dutch artist  Alfons and  Adrie Kennis were hired to recreate the appearance  of the Cheddar Man using both genome information and scans from the skulls

(Facial Reconstruction of the Cheddar Man, source National Geographic)

Much more information is retrievable through out  genome analysis, for example it can be supposed that the man lived in the Mesolithic era, about 5000-10000 years before Christ and has similar genome to the Hunter-Gatherers found in Spain, Luxembourg and Hungary and he was unable to drink milk as an adult.

The bones of the Cheddar man are another source of useful information. The cracks on the skull suggest that he could have died by an incident or in a violent manner. Cut marks on the bones could mean that these people cannibalized their dead. The length of the bones suggest that the man was tall about 1,52 meters and died in his twenties.

White skin trait is much more recent. It is theorized that about 6.000 year ago pale skin populations migrated from the Middle East to Britain after the ice age. The trait was probably developed to address a lack of Vitamin D in the pale skin population. A lighter Skin allows less protection to solar radiation but more capability to synthetize Vitamin  D in their Skin.

Cheddar man population was probably absorbed by the paler skin populations. In fact  living resident of Cheddar village where found to have similar DNA to the Cheddar man in their mitochondria.

It is esteemed that  Present-Day Europeans owe on average 10% of their ancestry to Mesolithic hunters like the Cheddar Man.

These findings will be published in a Journal and be featured on a United Kingdom Documentary of Channel 4 called “ The First Brit, Secret of the 10.000 years old Man”

 

Magnetic-Plasmonic nanocomposites could revolutionize medicine, says Trinity research

The Chemistry Department of Trinity college have published research showing that magnetic plasmonic nanomaterials could enhance future diagnostic techniques and cancer treatment therapies.

The nanomaterials are of interest in the field of biomedicine because of the vast amount of potential applications they have, such as molecular imaging, photothermal therapy, magnetic hyperthermia and as drug delivery vehicles. Thus applications exist for both therapy and diagnosis.

Magnetic plasmonic nanoparticles compose these nanomaterials – these particles are small molecules formed by a core of magnets linked with an outer layer of metal, the plasmonic layer. The magnetic core allows the molecules to attach to specific tissues throughout the interaction with magnetic fields. The plasmonic component is used as a receiver and transmitter of energy, depending on the metal which forms the component. This plasmonic component can be further functionalized very easily by adding molecules to give new properties to the particles. This includes drug molecules for treatment and fluorescent compounds for labelling. These extra molecules can also form a shell of a different functional metal, semiconductor, or dielectric.


(nanoparticle structure)

The nanocomposites can be combined with different other molecules to serve multiple purposes. In cancer treatment the molecule can be directed on tumors throughout an external magnet and the plasmons, stimulated with infrared light, can release heat and cut the tumors cells.In treatment of other diseases, the plasmonic particles can be constructed to transport drugs to various points of interest.

In diagnosis, the particles can be directed to a tumor-suspected area with magnetic fields. Antibodies attached to the nanoparticles can then link themselves to specific tumor sites, if present. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners can detect these nanoparticles – recognizing fluorescent or radioactive compounds that have been engineered onto the magnetic-plasmonic particles.They can be bioengineered to detect a wide range of other diseases and viruses.

What is of particular interest to researchers studying these particles is the possible use of new materials to not only quantify, but also cure diseases, concurrently. The nanoparticles are also fortunately versatile, as they can be built in laboratory with a wide range of materials and apparatus.

Right now the effects of the particles have only been studied in vitro on animal and human tissues. Toxicity of the materials to living cells is yet to be fully understood before progressing to animal or clinic tests; however the wide range of components that can be used to assemble the nanoparticles show promise in enhancing their biocompatibility.

(study and images by Shelley Stafford, Raquel Serrano Garcia and Yurii K. Gun’ko ,pdf available at http://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/8/1/97)

(This blog article is also avalible on the Trinity News issue released the 23/01/2018)