Researchers discover pigments of lapis lazuli in medieval woman’s jaw

JENA, Germany: In an exciting discovery that may help to change the way we look at medieval history, researchers have found traces of lapis lazuli stone in the dental calculus of a woman buried at a ninth- to fourteenth-century church–monastery complex in Germany. This evidence suggests that she was an accomplished painter of illuminated manuscripts, challenging previous beliefs regarding the role of women during this time.

In medieval Europe, lapis lazuli was as rare and expensive as gold. The discovery of traces of the blue pigment preserved in the dental plaque was made by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena and the University of York in the UK and adds to a growing body of evidence that nuns in medieval Europe were not only literate, but also involved in the production of books. To identify the blue colouring trapped in the woman’s plaque, scientists used a range of light and electron microscopy techniques, as well as spectroscopy, including a technique called Raman spectroscopy, which offers a non-destructive means of characterising mineral pigments and other materials with high precision using the scattering of laser light. “It came as a complete surprise—as the calculus dissolved, it released hundreds of tiny blue particles,” said co-first author Dr Anita Radini, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical Humanities at the University of York. “Here we have direct evidence of a woman, not just painting, but painting with a very rare and expensive pigment, and at a very out-of-the-way place,” explained senior author on the paper Prof. Christina Warinner from the Max Planck Institute. “This woman’s story could have remained hidden forever without the use of these techniques. It makes me wonder how many other artists we might find in medieval cemeteries—if we only look.” The study, titled “Medieval women’s early involvement in manuscript production suggested by lapis lazuli identification in dental calculus”, was published on 9 January 2019 in Science Advances.

Tags: jaw. nuns, lapis lazuli
January 15, 2019
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Dental Tribune International expands to Algeria

LEIPZIG, Germany: In 2019, the Dental Tribune International network welcomes Dental Tribune Algeria, led by Dr Ouahes Aziouez as its newest international licence partner. Dental Tribune–Algerian Edition will begin with quarterly publications focusing on the latest developments in dentistry within the Maghreb region.

A dental practitioner since 1997, Aziouez has enriched his career through his involvement in organising numerous continuing education sessions for dentists in the fields of implantology, prosthetics, periodontics, dental aesthetics and endodontics. As founder and director of Innovation Development Project (IDP), formerly Infodental Algeria, as well as the clinical magazine dental infos/info dentaires, he has the necessary experience, knowledge and drive to expand the Dental Tribune brand and product portfolio into the French-speaking region of northern Africa. “For me, the partnership represents an evolution. After years of being involved in the dental press in Algeria, this is a great opportunity to move on to a more international market,” said Aziouez, who also expressed his delight at Dental Tribune Algerian Edition being the first edition of Dental Tribune in the region. The first issue of Dental Tribune Algerian Edition will be released in early March 2019, and will be formally introduced to the international dental community at IDS in Cologne. Furthermore, with a print run of 7,000 copies, it will constitute the official newspaper of Dentex Algeria, which will take place from 20 to 23 March in the country’s capital of Algiers. DTI has announced that it foresees future growth into the wider Maghreb region (Morocco and Tunisia), as market trends show that it is an important up-and-coming sector that is highly involved and invested in continuing education.

Tags: Algeria, dental, expands, international, licence, mea, menasa, partner, Tribune
January 11, 2019
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Journal of Dental Research celebrates 100 years of publishing

ALEXANDRIA, Va., U.S.: Respected journals in dentistry are influential regarding the dissemination of new findings and groundbreaking research. This year, the Journal of Dental Research (JDR), is celebrating its publishing centenary. To mark this milestone, the journal will feature a yearlong commemorative article series and a podcast series highlighting topics that have transformed dental, oral and craniofacial research over the past 100 years.

Contributing to the commemorative series, JDR Editor-in-Chief Prof. William V. Giannobile, JDR Clinical & Translational Research Editor-in-Chief Prof. Jocelyne Feine, and former JDR Editors Profs. Mark C. Herzberg, Colin Dawes and Anthony J. Smith will collaboratively work on the opening series, titled “The Journal of Dental Research: A century of shaping dentistry.” Speaking about the upcoming series, Giannobile said, “I am honored to contribute to the commemoration of this milestone and to be a part of the rich history of the JDR that has helped shape the course of dental research and the profession of dentistry. Through the ‘Historical Highlights’ series, we hope that you enjoy ‘stepping back in time’ as well as looking forward to the next 100 years of JDR.” Along with the editorial contributions, a series of podcasts will also be released. The first, titled “Launch of the Journal of Dental Research centennial celebration year” will feature a conversation between Giannobile, International Association for Dental Research (IADR) President Prof. Rena D’Souza and American Association for Dental Research (AADR) President Dr. Maria Emanuel Ryan, and will be moderated by IADR/AADR CEO Dr. Christopher H. Fox. Additionally, the JDR will be honored at the 97th General Session and Exhibition of the IADR, which will be held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Meeting of the AADR and the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research in Vancouver, British Columbia, from June 19 to 22, 2019. More information on the JDR centennial can be found at

Tags: Dental research, history, publications
January 10, 2019
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Straumann and Nobel Biocare settle patent dispute

BASEL, Switzerland: Straumann recently announced that the company has settled its long-running patent dispute against Nobel Biocare in the US.

The dispute began in 2014 and involved an early version of the Neodent Drive CM implant, which was superseded soon afterwards. Nobel Biocare claimed that the version in question infringed two of its patents, but Straumann successfully challenged one of them at the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The ruling, which invalidated a patent on a key feature of the NobelActive implant, was recently upheld—despite Nobel Biocare’s subsequent appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Nobel Biocare has now agreed to take no further action regarding the decision and to dismiss its pending court action. “We are delighted with this outcome” said Dr Andreas Meier, General Counsel of Straumann. “Neodent’s new GM implant range is unchallenged and we are not required to pay any compensation.”

Tags: Dental implant, NobelActive, patent
January 8, 2019
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“The Great Imitator”: Resurgence of Syphilis and the Role of the Dental Provider in Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention.

With its tumultuous and murky history, syphilis has influenced the scientific developments in various medical fields, including microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, and bioethics.

It is a communicable infectious disease that can have chronic and dangerous consequences, but is also easily treatable with antibiotics. Having declined sharply since effective treatment with penicillin was introduced in the 1940s, the disease is on the rise again in the U.S. and worldwide. Prevalence of congenital syphilis, a leading cause of stillbirths worldwide, has also been increasing. Oral and peri-oral lesions can be present in all stages of the disease, from primary to tertiary, and specific dental manifestations are associated with congenital syphilis. Dental professionals, who may be the first clinicians to evaluate the manifestations of disease in patients seeking treatment for their oral lesions, must be familiar with clinical presentation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment protocols. Participants will learn:
  • Epidemiology of syphilis and co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection;
  • Etiology and pathogenesis of syphilis;
  • General and oral/peri-oral manifestations of syphilis in primary, secondary, and tertiary stages and dental abnormalities associated with congenital syphilis;
  • Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of syphilis;
  • Treatment protocols and prevention strategies, including vaccine development.
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