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Determining the sex of a skeleton hundreds of years old is an essential ability in the study of past human populations, as well as for establishing human identity in forensic contexts. Traditional macroscopic sex estimation methods in bioarchaeology are dependent on the presence and study of sexually dimorphic skeletal elements, including unnamed bones and the skull. Rebecca Gowland and her colleagues in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University in the United Kingdom have tested, for the first time, the applicability of a new method of sex estimation utilizing enamel peptides from a sample of permanent and deciduous teeth at different stages of mineralization, from nonadults of unknown sex, including perinates (pertaining to the time from one month prior to birth to one month after), and using a minimally destructive acid etching procedure and subsequent nano liquid chromatography– tandem mass spectrometry (nanoLC–MS/MS). Gowland spoke to us about her efforts, with additional information provided by co-authors of their resulting paper (1), Heidi Shaw of the Department of Archaeology at Durham University and Nicolas A. Stewart of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom.READ MORE