Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seashells inspire new way to preserve bones for archeologists, paleontologists

Date:
January 22, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Recreating the story of humanity's past by studying ancient bones can hit a snag when they deteriorate, but scientists are now reporting an advance inspired by seashells that can better preserve valuable remains.

Recreating the story of humanity's past by studying ancient bones can hit a snag when they deteriorate, but scientists are now reporting an advance inspired by seashells that can better preserve valuable remains. Their findings, which appear in the ACS journal Langmuir, could have wide-ranging implications for both archeology and paleontology.

Luigi Dei and colleagues explain that a process similar to osteoporosis causes bones discovered at historically significant sites to become brittle and fragile -- and in the process, lose clues to the culture they were once part of. Preserving them has proved challenging. Current techniques to harden and strengthen bones use vinyl and acrylic polymers. They act as a sort of glue, filling in cracks and holding fragments together, but they are not ideal. In an effort to stanch the loss of information due to damage, Dei's team set out to find a better way to preserve old bones.

The researchers turned to seashells for inspiration. Using skeletal fragments from the Late Middle Ages, they grew aragonite, a kind of lime that some sea animals produce to shore up their shells, on the bones in a controlled way. The treatment hardened the surfaces of the bones, as well as the pores inside them, making the ancient remains 50 to 70 percent sturdier. "These results could have immediate impact for preserving archeological and paleontological bone remains," the scientists conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Irene Natali, Paolo Tempesti, Emiliano Carretti, Mariangela Potenza, Stefania Sansoni, Piero Baglioni, Luigi Dei. Aragonite Crystals Grown on Bones by Reaction of CO2with Nanostructured Ca(OH)2in the Presence of Collagen. Implications in Archaeology and Paleontology. Langmuir, 2014; 140110080041009 DOI: 10.1021/la404085v

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Seashells inspire new way to preserve bones for archeologists, paleontologists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134154.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, January 22). Seashells inspire new way to preserve bones for archeologists, paleontologists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134154.htm
American Chemical Society. "Seashells inspire new way to preserve bones for archeologists, paleontologists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134154.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) — As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon

45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon

AP (July 18, 2014) — Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. Speaking at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Aldrin described what he was thinking right before the historic walk. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins