Pakula Biomedical Fellow Chloe Hain’22
Chloe compares socioeconomic status of females interred at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery (MCPFC) is a pauper cemetery located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin whose residents have been housed at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s lab for several years. The oral microbiome is a collection of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and other microflora that are present across the surfaces of the mouth; it acts as an entry point for digestion and an early prevention measure of disease. Calcified dental plaque, or calculus, is a good preservation vessel for these various microflora and analyzing the microflora present in dental calculus as one indicator of health is a much more ethical alternative to destructive testing when unidentified individuals are being studied.
The purpose of this study was to compare socioeconomic status (as determined by an evaluation of grave goods) of females buried at the MCPFC to the number of genera present in each individual’s oral microbiome while also using less invasive testing methods.
Chloe was advised by Helen Werner, Assistant Professor of Biology