April 13, 2014 12:00 AM

Science Briefs

Put under stress through physical exertion – such as long-distance walking or running – human bones gain in strength as the fibers are added or redistributed according to where strains are highest. Because the structure of human bones can inform us about the lifestyles of the individuals, they can provide valuable clues for biological anthropologists. Research by Alison Macintosh, a doctoral candidate at Britain’s Cambridge University, shows that after the emergence of agriculture in Central Europe from around 5300 B.C., the bones of those living in the fertile soils of the Danube river valley became progressively less strong.

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