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Christina Warinner is an archaeological geneticist at the Center for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich. In this fascinating Christina Warinner keynote address, the TED fellow discusses a specific portion of her research, which focuses on the microbial DNA contained in fossilized dental plaque.
Warriner’s exciting journey into the history of human disease has revealed a myriad of facts about the evolution of human health and the evolutionary vulnerabilities of the human body in its present form. Warinner and her research team have moved to studying dental plaque as many of today’s health challenges are not merely caused by simple mutations in our genome, but a complex culmination of factors involving genetic variation, diet, microbes and parasites and immune response.