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Intraskeletal isotopic compositions (?(13) C, ?(15) N) of bone collagen: Nonpathological and pathological variation.
Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.
PUBLISHED: 12-11-2013
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Paleodiet research traditionally interprets differences in collagen isotopic compositions (?(13) C, ?(15) N) as indicators of dietary distinction even though physiological processes likely play some role in creating variation. This research investigates the degree to which bone collagen ?(13) C and ?(15) N values normally vary within the skeleton and examines the influence of several diseases common to ancient populations on these isotopic compositions. The samples derive from two medieval German cemeteries and one Swiss reference collection and include examples of metabolic disease (rickets/osteomalacia), degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), trauma (fracture), infection (osteomyelitis), and inflammation (periostitis). A separate subset of visibly nonpathological skeletal elements from the German collections established normal intraindividual variation. For each disease type, tests compared bone lesion samples to those near and distant to the lesions sites. Results show that normal (nonpathological) skeletons exhibit limited intraskeletal variation in carbon- and nitrogen-isotope ratios, suggesting that sampling of distinct elements is appropriate for paleodiet studies. In contrast, individuals with osteomyelitis, healed fractures, and osteoarthritis exhibit significant intraskeletal differences in isotope values, depending on whether one is comparing lesions to near or to distant sites. Skeletons with periostitis result in significant intraskeletal differences in nitrogen isotope values only, while those with rickets/osteomalacia do not exhibit significant intraskeletal differences. Based on these results, we suggest that paleodiet researchers avoid sampling collagen at or close to lesion sites because the isotope values may be reflecting both altered metabolic processes and differences in diet relative to others in the population. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.