Eating cooked food and meat was not followed around 2 million years ago but as time passed, our apes used the various techniques and evolved. According to the researchers from the University at Buffalo, our saliva is the best evidence for understanding the years of evolution. The human diet has changed over a period of time as the meat consumption, agriculture practices, and cooking techniques varied with time and the human saliva thus showed variations in their components when compared to the primates. The amount of proteins present in the human saliva is quite less compared to our relatives. The researchers are studying great apes, chimpanzees, and gorillas along with the human to understand evolution.
The human-specific diet is found to have resulted in a dramatic change in the oral microbiome as well as in the jaws and teeth. The variations in food and pathogenic pressures may have also resulted in diversification in human saliva. The saliva helps humans have their food digested, tooth enamel protected, control microbial growth in mouth, and also act as the first line of defense against foreign particles. The speech and taste of an individual are also taken care of by saliva. The salivary proteome holds too much history and the association with our closest evolutionary family (gorillas and chimpanzees.)
The waterier saliva of humans had more of amylase and carbonic anhydrase VI compared to the protein-rich apes, chimpanzee, gorilla, and macaque saliva. The latherin is a detergent-like protein that was found to be absent in the humans as they lost their fur and no longer needed to socially groom. The watery consistency was believed to help digest easily, talk, and swallow more food. The parotid secretory protein and higher levels of secretory immunoglobulin components are found to be higher in our relatives compared to us and thus, their defense system is better.
In a similar pattern, Professor Rhoel Dinglasan from the University of Florida and his team are working on a new test to help detect malaria. Japan’s Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) has provided them with more than £1M as there are more than 200 million cases of malaria each year around the world. The new test will use patient’s saliva rather than blood and it is expected to hit the markets within next 2 Years. It will detect a biomarker found in the saliva of the patients.
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