View Full Version : NYC Bone Seminar on Tuesday,October 26th: Tim Bromage of the New York University College ofDentistry,who will speak on " Lucy falls from sky and returns lostdiamonds! Confocal Circularly Polarized light Microscopy of theEarly Hominid Skeleton."

Steve Cowin
10-18-2004, 08:02 PM
Dear colleagues and students:

The second seminar in the Fall 2004 Bone Seminar Series will be on
Tuesday October 26 with a presentation by Tim Bromage of the New York
University College of Dentistry, who will speak on " Lucy falls from
sky and returns lost diamonds! Confocal Circularly Polarized light
Microscopy of the Early Hominid Skeleton."

Details of all seminars appear on our website: http://bonenet.net/index.html
Details of this seminar appears below.

I would greatly appreciate in any person interested in the Bone
Seminar Series, the Bone Fluid Flow Workshops or the BoneNet.net
website http://bonenet.net, filling out a questionnaire to help me
prepare the annual report to the National Science Foundation, which
supports these activities. The questionnaire is also downloadable at

Many thanks, Steve Cowin


October 26, 2004 Seminar

SPEAKER: Timothy G. Bromage, PhD, Department of Biomaterials, New
York University College of Dentistry

TOPIC: Lucy falls from sky and returns lost diamonds! Confocal
Circularly Polarized light Microscopy of the Early Hominid Skeleton

PLACE AND TIME: Room 9207, CUNY Graduate Center, 7:00 PM

ABSTRACT: Skeletal microanatomy is typically investigated by some
form of light microscopy on specially prepared samples, such as
histological thin sections, or by scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
of bulk specimens. However, unique African early hominid remains
from Pliocene localities some 2-4 million years old are not readily
available for histological sectioning, and bulk examination by SEM is
restricted to first surfaces. A practical alternative is confocal
scanning optical microscopy (CSOM). This permits "optical
sectioning" upon and below the intact surfaces of opaque materials,
which generates excellent reflection images and provides basic
details of bone and tooth histological microanatomy equal to that
produced by conventional research microscopes. This is all very
well, but African early hominid repositories do not have available
CSOM technologies, requiring that we bring such an instrument to the
fossils. This has prompted development of the first portable CSOM,
the prototype of which has recently been taken to Ethiopia, Kenya,
and South Africa for its first glimpse of the hard tissue
microanatomy of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and early Homo
species. CSOM imaging of the dentition is demonstrating
species-specific variations of enamel structure related to functional
and life history adaptations. Further, because the portable CSOM is
configured to generate reflected circularly polarized light images,
we are able to study and analyze preferential collagen fiber
orientations in bone tissue and thus skeletal function in our fossil

RESEARCH INTERESTS of Tim Bromage: Comparative hard tissue biology
and microanatomy in relation to functional, life history, and
environmental reconstruction; human evolution; development of
practical solutions to technical problems of mineralized tissue
specimen preparation and imaging.


Questions and Feedback Contact

Stephen C. Cowin PhD
New York Center for Biomedical Engineering
Departments of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering
School of Engineering
The City College of New York
138th Street and Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031-9198, USA

(212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
(212) 650-5208 (Office at Work)

(212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)


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