Sampling Tooth Enamel for Isotopic Analysis

In the previous post, I explained how teeth grow. Now I’m going to get into the details of how we collect tooth enamel samples for isotopic analysis. What we need is powdered enamel. The best way to get this is by drilling. With a dental drill. One of the greatest challenges we have is thatContinue reading “Sampling Tooth Enamel for Isotopic Analysis”

Collecting Samples – Powdered Enamel

Here’s something that not too many ‘traditional’ chemists have to do, but geochemists have to do all the time. You can’t very easily just stick a rock into a mass spectrometer and take a geochemical measurement. Usually, the rock or mineral (enamel, in this case) has to be powdered first. For my own research, I’mContinue reading “Collecting Samples – Powdered Enamel”

I have this jaw I’d like to give you…

Below is a “lab note” from the Jaws of Life Project on experiment.com. Access the note and support the project here. Part of this project is gathering the funds needed to perform the necessary chemical analyses. The other part is gathering jaw bones from far and wide (only legally, of course), so that we haveContinue reading “I have this jaw I’d like to give you…”

Let’s talk teeth – is this the third molar?

Below is a “lab note” from the Jaws of Life Project on experiment.com. Access the note and support the project here. How do we know what teeth we have when we find a jaw or an isolated tooth? Let’s start with a simple, yet common case: The lower jaw of a deer or sheep. ForContinue reading “Let’s talk teeth – is this the third molar?”

Some early data and how this works

Below is a “lab note” from the Jaws of Life Project on experiment.com. Access the note and support the project here. This project was born from the practical need to be able to maximize our ability to learn about past environments using the geochemistry of fossil teeth. There have been a few studies, some publishedContinue reading “Some early data and how this works”

Friday Headlines – June 5, 2020 – #BlackLivesMatter

Friday Headlines, March 6, 2020 PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE GEOSCIENCES In light of the recent death of George Floyd and the following #BlackLivesMatter protests, I feel it is appropriate and necessary to highlight geoscientists of color. I do not fully understand the struggles that are faced by people of color in this country, butContinue reading “Friday Headlines – June 5, 2020 – #BlackLivesMatter”