Hard Tissue Research
(Director, Shannon McFarlin). Since bones and teeth form the basis of the hominid fossil record, understanding the anatomy, development, and function of these tissues is critical for interpreting the life events, behavior and environments of early human ancestors. Current research interests include investigating bone and tooth micro-anatomical correlates of life history and skeletal function, and studies of wild primate populations that have been the subject of long term field observation, to more fully understand the manner in which specific features of individual life histories, environments and stress impact the microscopic anatomy of developing hard tissues.
Major equipment: Buehler Isomet 1000 precision saw; Buehler Ecomet 4000 grinding/polishing machine, and other standard equipment necessary for the histological preparation of hard tissue thin sections; Microscopy resources include an Olympus SZX12 stereomicroscope, Zeiss AxioImager microscope configured for circularly polarized light and fluorescence imaging, integrated MBF Bioscience Stereo Investigator software for stereology, and an Olympus BX50 confocal laser microscope.
Sample publication: McFarlin S.C., Terranova C.J., Zihlman A.L., Enlow D.H., Bromage T.G. (2008) Regional variability in secondary remodeling within long bone cortices of catarrhine primates: the influence of bone growth history. Journal of Anatomy 213:308-324.