Ancient Pathologies, Written in Bone

A team led by Dr. Janet Monge has found evidence of the earliest known benign bone tumor in a Neandertal rib from Croatia. Approximately 120,000 year old, the bone is significantly more ancient than prior discoveries of this kind, the oldest of which date back some 1,000-4,000 years. As Monge explains, “This tumor may provide another link between Neandertals and modern peoples...we grow the same way in our bones and teeth and share the same diseases.”  Monge and her colleagues have published their findings in PLOS ONE- their paper can be accessed here. To read the New York Times report on the study, click here