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My name is Tim Bromage of the New York University College of Dentistry.
In this presentation, I'll provide
further topics within the general theme of hard tissue biology
in human health and evolution.
There are several aspects of hard tissue biology within the health sciences,
that have been the explicit focus of attention in human evolutionary biology.
These include enamel and tooth biology,
bone biology, craniofacial biology,
and - as the focus in this presentation -
applications in both the medical and human evolutionary sciences
that concern life history and chronobiology.
Nature abounds with pattern.
One category of patterns is composed of what are called 'recording structures'.
These are typically layers that represent formation over some discrete period of time.
For instance, the annual rings of trees,
tidal variation in seashells,
incremental growth of fish scales and corals,
fish otoliths, mammalian enamel and bone, layers laid down during agate formation,
seasonal layers in sediment microstratigraphy,
and even the macrostratigraphy of sediments.
At all spatial scales from the micron scale of hard tissue increments,
to the kilometer scale of macrostratigraphy,
nature is giving us clues to how things form.
If you were to section a human incisor tooth along a plane (as shown on the right),
you would see something similar to that of tree rings.
We know that by examining the widths and characteristics of these rings,
we can say something about the life history of that particular tree.