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Exposure to Specific Toxins and Nutrients During Late Pregnancy and Early Life Shapes Autism Risk
Nature Communications – June 1, 2017
Researchers at the Icahn School of Mount Sinai in New York along with colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden set out to investigate the contribution to autism risk of specific environmental factors including environmental pollutants (lead, for example) and essential nutritional components of our diet, such as zinc and manganese.

Wild Orangutan Teeth Provide Insight Into Human Breast-Feeding Evolution
Science Advances – May 17, 2017

Tanya Smith, PhD (Griffith); Christine Austin, PhD (Mount Sinai); Manish Arora BDS, PhD (Mount Sinai), and their teams study the maternal milk intake of our primate cousins the orangutans in the hopes to guide our understanding of human breast-feeding evolution and current practices. Orangutan nursing habits have been difficult to study due to challenges in observing this behavior in their natural environment. Using teeth as a biomarker is a novel method to work around these challenges. Due to the ring-like growth pattern of teeth, investigators can determine concentrations of the maternal elements in the infants’ teeth over time.

Tooth-Matrix Biomarkers to Reconstruct Critical Periods of Brain Plasticity
Cell press: Trends in Neurosciences – December 28, 2016
Two Mount Sinai researchers from different backgrounds joined forces to reconstruct critical periods of brain plasticity using teeth as a biologic hard drive. Manish Arora, BDS, MPH, PhD, Director of Exposure Biology at the Lautenberg Lab and Hirofumi Morishita, MD, PhD, from the Department of Psychiatry collaborated on a concept piece, “Tooth-Matrix Biomarkers to Reconstruct Critical Periods of Brain Plasticity” published in Cell press: Trends in Neurosciences.

ToothTracking Diet Transitions During Infancy from Teeth
Nature – May 1, 2013
This is the first demonstration that major dietary shifts in early life are accurately recorded as elemental signals that remain apparent in primate fossil teeth. A primary aim of many tooth chemistry studies is to document dietary histories, including the evolution of human weaning, which has proven difficult due to the natural processes of decay and modification that occur after death and during fossilization. Reliable biomarkers of dietary patterns in both modern and fossil samples have been largely unavailable until now.