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January 14 2013

Faeces yields clues to ancient civilisations

San Francisco - Research by US scientists into the composition of dried human faeces from archeological sites shows that the increasingly urban and cosmopolitan way of modern life has led to dramatic changes in the make-up of human intestinal flora.

Raul Tito and his colleagues from the University of Oklahoma analysed the microbial composition of coprolite samples (faeces retrieved from archaeological contexts) from three locations in the Americas.

The sites were chosen because they provided a broad range of environmental conditions.

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