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BBC – Future – How modern life is changing in human skeleton



It all started with a goat. The unlucky beast was born in the Netherlands in the spring of 1939 – and his prospects are not good. On the left side of his body, a nude patch of fur marks the area where his front leg should be. To the right, his front leg is very large, it's more than a stump with a nail. Walking all four will be, say, there's a problem.

But when he was three months old, the little goat was adopted by a veterinary institution and moved into a furious field. There she quickly changed her own unique style of getting around. Pushing his legs back over and over again, he would do himself until he stood half-straight in his left leg, and jumped. The result is somewhere between hopping a kangaroo and a hare, though perhaps not very impressive.

Sadly the plucky goat was involved in an accident soon after his first birthday, and he died. But there is a final surprise hidden in his outline.

For centuries, scientists have thought that our bones are fixed ̵

1; they grow in a predictable way, according to instructions inherited from our parents. But when an anatomist of the Dutch searched the goat outline, they learned that he started to adapt. The bones on her hips and legs are thicker than you expected, while those in her ankles are stretched. Finally his toes and hips were abnormally angled, to accommodate a more upright spruce. The goat frame starts to look as much as hop animals.

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Now it is an established fact that our skeletons are surprisingly soft. The pure white remains displayed in the museums may seem solid and inert, but the bones under our flesh are lively – they are really pink with blood vessels – and they continue broken and rebuilt. So no matter how each person's plot appears in a rough template placed on their DNA, then it is tailored to accommodate the unique stresses of their life.

This resulted in a discipline known as "osteobiography" – literally "the bone biography" – which involves looking at a skeleton to know how its owner lives. It relies on the fact that certain activities, such as walking on both legs, leave a predictable signature behind, such as solid hip bones

exploring a unique spike growth Behind the multitude of skulls in realization that our jaws are getting smaller, in the enigmatic search that German youth are currently narrower elbows than ever, it is clear that modern life has an effect on our bones [19659002] For an example of how osteobiography works, bring the mystery of the "strong men" of Guam and the Mariana Islands. It begins with the discovery of a male outline on the island of Tinian, which resides at 1,600 miles (2,560km) east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, in 1924. The remains are dated to the 16th or 17th centuries, and positively they are very large. The skull of the male, the bones of the arm, the bones of the bone, and the bones of his legs below indicate that he is very strong and unusual.

The reference is hidden in the great local legends of very large ancient rulers, with the ability to become a real heroic physical adventure. Archaeologists Taotao Tagga called him "man of Tagga" – after the famous mythical leader of the island of Taga, known for his powerful strength.

As other graves were discovered, it became clear that the first plot had no anomalies; in fact as well as in myth, the Tinian and the surrounding islands are home to a race of people with disabilities. But where did they get their strength from?

It happened, the lips of the strong man were often found lying down beside the answer. In the case of Taga, he was buried in 12 magnificent carved stone pillars, which at first supported his house. Meanwhile, a closer inspection of his bones and others has revealed that they have similar characteristics to those from the Tonga archipelago in the South Pacific, where people are making many rocks working and building big rocks.

The largest homestead in the island has columns of 16ft (5m) high and weighed nearly 13 tonnes each – about as much as two adult African elephants. It is no mysterious race of mighty giants; men have achieved their powerful construction through difficult labor.

If, in the future, the same approach is used to gather how people lived in 2019, scientists will find feature changes in our skeletons that demonstrate our modern lifestyle. [19659002] "I was a clinician for 20 years, and over the past decade I have discovered that my patients have skeletal growth," says David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast , Australia.

Spike features like spikes, also known as "outer nail breeding can be found on the lower back of the skull, just above the neck. If you have one, you'll probably feel it in your fingers – or if you are bald, can still be seen from behind.

Until recently, this type of growth was thought to be very rare. In 1885, when the first launch of the spike, the famous French scientist Paul Broca complained that he was still in the name. "He did not like it because he had learned a lot of specimens, and he still did not see any of it."

In the sense of something that might be up, Shahar decided to investigate. With his colleagues, he checked over a thousand X-rays of skulls from people from 18 to 86 years old. They measured any spikes and mentioned what sort of posture every participant.

Scientists' discovery is remarkable. Spikes are more expanding than they expected, and more are still common in the youngest age group: one in four people aged 18-30 had growth. Why is it so? And should we worry?

Shahar thinks that the spike burst is in modern technology, especially our recent obsession with smartphones and tablets. As we sat on them, we craned our necks and kept our heads forward. It is a problem, because the average head is weighing about £ 10 (4.5 kg) – almost like a big watermelon.

Text neck

When sitting up straight, heavy objects balance well on top of our spines. But while we are moving forward to pores the popular dog to social media, our neck should be forced to hold them in place. Doctors called for a disease that could cause "neck of the text". Shahar thinks that spikes form because the hunched posture creates an extra pressure in the area where the neck muscles are attached to the skull – and the body responds by placing new bone layers. They help the skull to cope with excess fatigue, by spreading the weight to a wider area.

Of course, the bad posture is not invented in the 21st Century – people have always encountered something to hunch over. So why do not we get the skull protuberances from the books? One possibility is down to the amount of time we are currently using on our phones, compared to how long a person has spent reading. For example, even in 1973, before most modern-day interruptions were invented, common Americans usually read about two hours each day. In contrast, today people spend double that time on their phones.

In fact, for Shahar, the biggest surprise is how big spikes are. Prior to his studies, the latest research was conducted at an osteological lab in India, in 2012. It was a lab specializing in all the bones – as you can imagine, they have many skulls – but only found the doctor is one of growth. It measures 8 mm, which is very small, not yet included in Shahar's results. "And he thought it was enough enough to write a whole paper about it!" He says. In his own study, the most important growth was 30mm in length.

Intriguing, strong men from the Mariana islands tend to grow in their skulls. They are thought to have been developed for a similar cause – to support their strong muscular neck and shoulders. Men can carry heavy weights by suspending them from poles on their shoulders.

Shahar claims that modern spikes are never going to go. They will continue to grow bigger and larger – "Imagine if you have stalactites and stalagmites, if no one is disturbed, it will continue to grow" – but it is rare for them to cause any problems by themselves. If there is one issue, it may be due to other fees that the body should make for all our hunching.

On the other side of the world, in Germany, scientists have discovered another unique development: our elbows shrink. Christiane Scheffler, an anthropologist from the University of Potsdam, is studying body measurements taken from school children when he noticed the trend.

Children's skeletons are becoming less and more every year

To see exactly how their skeletons have changed Over time, Scheffler begins a study of how good, or "big boned", children are between 1999 and 2009. It is involved in calculating their "frame index", which compares a person to the width of their elbows. He then compared his results to those from similar studies that were 10 years older. He found that the skeletons of children are becoming weaker each year.

"And then we're thinking about it, what's the reason," Scheffler says. Her first idea may be genetic, but it is difficult to see how a DNA population can change for as little as 10 years. The second is probably that children are suffering from poor nutrition, but this is not a problem in Germany. The third is that young people today are a generation of couch potatoes.

To find out, Scheffler has taken a new study – with some colleagues this time – where he also asked the children to fill out a questionnaire about their daily routine, and wear a step counter for a week. The team found a strong connection between how the skeletons of children and the amount of walking they did.

We know that every time we use our muscles, we can help to increase the mass of bones that support them. "If you use them again, they build more bone tissue, which is measured as higher density and larger bones," says Scheffler. The recession of children's skeletons is like a sincere adaptation to modern life, as it can not help to grow the seeds you do not need.

But there is a surprise hidden data: walking is the only type of exercise that seems to have any effect. Scheffler thinks this is because even the most passionate sports fans have actually spent very little training time. "It does not help if your mother takes you to the car for one or two hours each week," she says.

And no matter who no one looks at if the link holds the adults, it's likely to apply the same rules: not enough to just hit the gym several times a week without walking long distances. "Because our evolution tells us that we can walk about 30km (19 miles) a day."

The last surprise hidden in our bones could have happened hundreds of years, but we just noticed. In 2011, Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel from The State University of New York to Buffalo, was studying skulls. As an anthropologist, he wants to know if it is possible to say where one comes from, just by looking at its shape.

In his quest for an answer, the Cramon-Taubadel cleaned collections of museums from around the world for skulls to compare, and painstakingly measuring them. Truly, that is, in sum, you can say almost where a skull is from, and who owns it is related to, just from its shape. But there is a part where it is not the case: the jaw.

As soon as it became clear that instead of genetics, the jaw's shape is often affected by whether that person grew up in a hunt-gatherer society, or a farm-dependent community. Cramon-Taubadel thinks it's all up to how much we chewing as we grow. "If you think about orthodontics, obviously is why we do it with teenagers because their bones are growing," says Cramon-Taubadel. "Bones are still soft at the time and they will respond to different pressures."

In modern, farm-based societies where food is soft and enjoyable, we can find food that no need to examine first. The more chewing makes for weaker muscles, which means our jaws are not stable. Another idea is that it is down to breastfeeding, because the age where mothers wean their children varies widely, and dictates when they start chewing more solid foods.

In post-industrial populations, we are more likely to suffer from dental problems – such as dental suffering and dental teeth

But there is no need to mourn the jawline of your weak farmer. Cramon-Taubadel says that the effect of chewing may have on the lower face is really mild in the eye. Instead, it is likely to show in our teeth. "So the main problem is especially in post-industrial populations, the more likely we are to suffer from dental problems – dental suffering, bored teeth, etc.," he said. "Right now, what research shows is that having a slightly more biomechanically hard diet, especially in children, can be useful for counteracting some of the imbalance between the way that our teeth grow and develop and push through "

And here's an unexpected twist. Incredible, it seems now that changes in our jaw and teeth have had a welcome effect at least – in the way we speak. The recent study found that, as social neolitics discovered during the Neolithic period, nearly 12,000 years ago, changes in our bites could allow us to speak new sounds, such as "f "and" v ". Researchers estimate that it has changed the languages ​​spoken by people, which contain only 3% of these poor sounds at 76% today.

Instead of having bites, as we do today, where upper incisor (upper front teeth) lower ones, former adults have bites where they are identified instead. To push your jaw back into Neolithic times, try pushing your lower jaw until your upper and lower teeth are handled, then try to say "fish" or "Venice".

So what do archeologists in the future of our skeletons, examine them from their spaceships? If we are not careful, they will reveal unhealthy foods, inactive levels, and a painful attachment to technology. Perhaps it is best to be cremated.

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