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Can your dentist tell your ethnic origin?

By W. Mark Dendy     Oct 29, 2013 in Science
Purnima Kumar, associate professor of periodontology at Ohio State University has uncovered a new uniqueness, a kind of “fingerprint,” in humans.
In a new study which involved 192 participants belonging to four ethnic affiliations, non-Hispanic blacks, whites, Chinese and Latinos, lead author Kumar determined that “ethnicity exerts a selection pressure on the oral microbiome, and that this selection pressure is genetic rather than environmental.”
The team of scientists came to this conclusion because the two ethnicities, Caucasians and African Americans, that shared a common food, nutritional and lifestyle heritage “demonstrated significant microbial divergence.”
Four hundred different species of microbes were identified in the study group. Two per cent of bacterial species were present in all individuals with concentrations varying according to ethnicity.
The researchers were able to train a machine to distinguish ethnicity based on the bacterial flora found under the gums with 62 percent accuracy.
More about Microbiology, Dentist, periodontists, Teeth, Bacteria