Element found in our teeth detected for the first time in galaxy 12 billion light-years away


Scientists have confirmed for the first time the presence of complex cells in the inside of our teeth, what they say is a 'major step' towards finding the origins of our own teeth.

Figures published in the journal Nature News showed that tooth cells were covered with a narrow band of double-helix DNA and had half-helix crystal structure and the 'tail' of the rings was considerably longer than those found in mammals, such as mice and chickens.

Professor Michael Barratt, researcher at the Australian National University and an author of the paper, said: "These are among the first complex teeth I've seen and have unusual features that are highly unlikely to occur in other animals."

The study found that the teeth, like human 'larynx' teeth, were specifically derived from a very specific creature. The study suggests that it is another example of complex lipids and a part of a whole that are unlikely to have coevals.

However, the study did not give a satisfactory answer to the longstanding question as to how these unique developmentations are involved.

"This is only a very preliminary view of this complex structure and more work needs to be done in order to understand the specialities of these in these teeth, especially if they serve an evolutionary purpose."

Further work to understand how these are formed will be carried out by Professor Barratt's own research group, located at ANU's Centre for Discovery and Lifelong Learning and Northern Sydney Observatory in NSW.

However, the research is just one step in the journey to find our roots from dental evolution. Researchers said that these results were limited by the fact that they involved work done from observations made in the 1970s and 80s and it has been decades since scientists started noticing high cholesterol levels in the jaw area.

Currently, there is no trace of the dental population that existed in the early Cretaceous Period. The same might not be true for additional distributions of DNA at relatively recent dates. In previous studies in the 1930s, mineralised DNA has also been observed in ancient teeth, suggesting that modern genomes might have been carried over millennia.

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Collaboration between scientists is now set to lead to what has been called the 'Biggest Discovery of the Century' - scientists have now found those ancient dental roots outside the Cretaceous period. Researchers are now looking forward to working with early evolutionary lineages and some of those lineages happen to be located in the Virgin Islands.

The older experiments, made in the 1950s and 60s, showed that the presence of caries and cancer was linked to layers of covered inner-lined cells. These are made up of proteins from the dental pulp, a special stage of the animal which contain vital nutrients to "disservice, increase surface area and enhance phagocytosis". These organelles are completely invisible to us, but help to digest food and act as the sensory organ.

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