Niels Lynnerup

Niels Lynnerup
University of Copenhagen · Department of Forensic Medicine

About

255
Publications
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6,124
Citations

Publications

Publications (255)
Article
Taphonomic changes can mimic pathological bone lesions and make it difficult to distinguish between ante- and postmortem abnormalities and to perform differential diagnostics. 3D methods, such as CT scanning and 3D printing, can be used as complementary tools to overcome the taphonomic changes. Here, we reconstructed a skull of an interesting arche...
Article
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Objective The aim of this study was to examine the association between the legal outcome for suspected perpetrators and the forensic life-threatening danger assessments conducted as part of the clinical forensic medical examinations of victims with penetrating injuries. Method From the Danish Central Crime Register, we retrieved the legal outcomes...
Article
Objectives By focusing on two Danish leprosaria (Næstved and Odense; 13th–16th c. CE) and using diet and origin as proxies, we follow a multi-isotopic approach to reconstruct life histories of patients and investigate how leprosy affected both institutionalized individuals and the medieval Danish community as a whole. Materials and Methods We comb...
Article
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Clinical forensic medical examinations constitute an increasing proportion of our institution’s tasks, and, concomitantly, the authorities are now requesting forensic life-threatening danger assessments based on our examinations. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess if a probability of survival (PS) trauma score could be useful for the...
Article
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Clinical forensic assessments of injuries’ life-threatening danger may have an impact on the legal aftermath following a violent assault. The pursuit of evidence-based guidelines should ensure a user-independent and reproducible forensic practice. However, does it? The aim of this study was to evaluate the forensic life-threatening danger assessmen...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03328-2.
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Severe mental illness (SMI) is associated with a marked increase in mortality, both from natural and unnatural causes. Patients may be subject to accelerated aging and increased disposition for developing chronic somatic disease. One possible contributory cause to this may be chronic hyperactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis an...
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Variation in the trace element chemistry of cortical bone microstructure is delineated for interred and non-interred human femora. This was done to investigate the range of element concentrations that might occur within single bones, specifically the original laminar bone and later osteons, and its potential for investigating chemical life historie...
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The maritime expansion of Scandinavian populations during the Viking Age (about ad 750–1050) was a far-flung transformation in world history1,2. Here we sequenced the genomes of 442 humans from archaeological sites across Europe and Greenland (to a median depth of about 1×) to understand the global influence of this expansion. We find the Viking pe...
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The recovery and analysis of ancient DNA and protein from archaeological bone is time-consuming and expensive to carry out, while it involves the partial or complete destruction of valuable or rare specimens. The fields of palaeogenetic and palaeoproteomic research would benefit greatly from techniques that can assess the molecular quality prior to...
Article
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Since the beginning of this century, the use of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) in forensic autopsies has increased. In this study we examined how similar dental charts created using PMCT as a solitary examination mode were to dental charts created using the conventional method of a clinical inspection including intraoral radiographs. A total...
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Keel bone fractures in laying hens have been described with increasing prevalence from several countries over the last twenty years and are considered one of the greatest welfare problems to the layer industry. In Denmark we have observed fracture prevalence in the range of 53% to 100% in flocks from cage-free systems whereas flock prevalences in b...
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Internationally, clinical forensic medicine (CFM) is diverse in content and conduct, and forensic medical methods are not always evidence based. The first step towards evidence-based practice is to achieve a thorough knowledge of international diversity, which necessitates that CFM practitioners provide information about their national practice. Th...
Article
Introduction: Age assessment based on dental development is often requested in order to assess whether an individual is older or younger than 18 years of age. There are several statistical approaches to estimate age based upon third molar development. The aim of this study was to apply the principles of transition analysis (TA) to a Danish referen...
Article
We present an autopsy-validated, non-invasive, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based segmentation algorithm, for determining hippocampal volume. A segmentation algorithm was developed to assess the volume of the hippocampus. Deceased individuals with severe mental illness were used to evaluate the use of MRI imaging to determine hippocampal volume...
Article
Objective: This study examines the evidence of three skeletal markers of childhood health that leave permanent observable changes in the adult skeleton during two climate events, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) that occurred in the medieval period (1050-1536 CE). Material: A total of 241 adult skeletons from the Danis...
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The Agatston score (AS) is the gold standard CT calcium scoring method in clinical practice. However, the AS is an indirect method of determining calcium amount, whereas atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) can directly measure the calcium amount. Our primary aim was to investigate the association between the AS and the coronary calcium amount meas...
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Objective: This study investigates the expression of mRNA encoding vasopressin in the hypothalamus of autopsy brains of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Methods: Ten brains of individuals with schizophrenia and 10 brains from individuals without any disease were examined during autopsy. The hypothalamic block was dissected and immersion...
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We present results of the largest multidisciplinary human mobility investigation to date of skeletal remains from present-day Denmark encompassing the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Through a multi-analytical approach based on 88 individuals from 37 different archaeological localities in which we combine strontium isotope and radiocarbon analyses togeth...
Article
Purpose This paper presents a proposed guideline for the use of post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) during forensic dental identification. Currently, whole-body PMCT is widely used prior to autopsies for the diagnosis of fractures, organ changes, hemorrhages, and for the localization of foreign bodies, but it may also facilitate the odontologica...
Article
Severe mental illness (SMI) is associated with a reduced life expectancy of up to 20 years. One possible contributor to this fact is dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis. Looking at the morphology of effector organs, such as the adrenal glands themselves, could reveal insights into organ function and response to possible H...
Preprint
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The Viking maritime expansion from Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) marks one of the swiftest and most far-flung cultural transformations in global history. During this time (c. 750 to 1050 CE), the Vikings reached most of western Eurasia, Greenland, and North America, and left a cultural legacy that persists till today. To understand the...
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We describe a procedure for ascertaining the extent of diagenesis in archaeological human skeletons through the distribution of Sr, Ba, Cu, Pb, Fe, and Mn in cross-sections of femoral cortical bone. Element mapping is performed through Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Absolute calibrations of element concentr...
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A decrease in the volume of the hippocampus is associated with severe mental illness, especially schizophrenia, and has been studied extensively in the living using magnetic resonance imaging. Autopsy cohorts also represent a valuable data source for imaging studies. However, post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (PMMRI) is subject to unique chall...
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Accurate and precise documentation of lesions is an important aspect of the forensic pathologists’ work. Photogrammetry provides a useful tool to take precise measurements from photographs. These photographs are normally acquired with single camera photographs, but the procedure is quite time-consuming. Video recording has the potential to record a...
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Background Left ventricular mass (LVM) is an independent risk factor for the prediction of cardiac events. Its assessment is a clinically important diagnostic procedure in cardiology and may be performed by Computed Tomography (CT). The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between the cardiac left ventricular shell volume (LVShV) determi...
Article
The discovery of petrous bone as an excellent repository for ancient biomolecules has been a turning point in biomolecular archaeology, especially in aDNA research, but excessive and uncontrolled sampling could result in loss of this valuable resource for future research. This study reports on the histological (optical microscopy), physical (FTIR-A...
Article
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The composition of ancient oral microbiomes has recently become accessible owing to advanced biomolecular methods such as metagenomics and metaproteomics, but the utility of metaproteomics for such analyses is less explored. Here, we use quantitative metaproteomics to characterize the dental calculus associated with the remains of 21 humans retriev...
Article
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Studies of the peopling of the Americas have focused on the timing and number of initial migrations. Less attention has been paid to the subsequent spread of people within the Americas. We sequenced 15 ancient human genomes spanning Alaska to Patagonia; six are ≥10,000 years old (up to ~18× coverage). All are most closely related to Native American...
Article
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The morphology and neurophysin expression of the magnocellular accessory neuroendocrine system located in the rostral human hypothalamus is investigated in a series of brains obtained at autopsy. The hypothalami were fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin, or after cryoprotection, frozen for cryostat sectioning. Paraffin sections were either st...
Article
The virtual approach in physical and forensic anthropology is increasingly used to further analyze human remains, but also to propose new didactic means for visualization and dissemination of scientific results. Computerized facial approximation (FA) offers an alternative to manual methods, but usually requires a complete facial skeleton to allow f...
Article
Elevated systemic oxidative stress levels of 8-oxoGuo and 8-oxodG have been reported in individuals with severe mental illness (SMI). As no previous studies have addressed the link between local levels of 8-oxoGuo and 8-oxodG in the central nervous system (CNS), measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and urinary systemic levels, we employed autopsy...
Article
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Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a ubiquitous human pathogen associated with a number of conditions, such as fifth disease in children and arthritis and arthralgias in adults. B19V is thought to evolve exceptionally rapidly among DNA viruses, with substitution rates previously estimated to be closer to those typical of RNA viruses. On the basis of ge...
Article
We present a reference database for third molar development based on a contemporary Danish population. A total of 1302 digital panoramic images were evaluated. The images were taken at a known chronological age, ranging from 13 to 25years. Third molar development was scored according to the Köhler modification of the 10-stage method of Gleiser and...
Article
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Background: Individuals who suffer from mental illness are more prone to obesity and related co-morbidities, including the metabolic syndrome. Autopsies provide an outstanding platform for the macroscopic, microscopic and molecular-biological investigation of diseases. Autopsy-based findings may assist in the investigation of the metabolic syndrom...
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The exhumation of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was performed in 2010 to verify speculative views on the cause of his death. Previous analyses of skeletal and hair remains recovered from his grave refuted the presumption that he died from poisoning. These studies also outlined the possibility that he actually died from an acute illness,...
Data
Grades of degenerative changes of the spine (spondylosis and spondyloarthrosis) in Tycho Brahe's skeleton (according to classification systems of Vyhnánek, Stloukal 1971 and Üstündağ 2009 [15,16]). (XLSX)
Data
The statistic values of femoral dimensions of the reference sample and Brahe's values used in the decision tree for his physical status estimation. (XLSX)
Data
Grades of osteoarthritic changes in the appendicular skeleton of Tycho Brahe (according to classification system of Stloukal, Vyhnánek 1975 [14]). (XLSX)
Data
Stages of entheseal changes in main muscle attachment sites of Tycho Brahe (according to classification system of Villotte 2006 [13]). (XLSX)
Data
The values of femoral dimensions (maximum femoral length, medio-lateral endosteal breadth) of the reference sample used in the decision tree for physical status estimation of Tycho Brahe. (XLSX)
Article
This study examines the evidence of three skeletal markers relating to childhood health that leave permanent observable changes in the adult skeleton. Two are well known to paleopathology, namely Harris lines (HL) and linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH). The third skeletal marker is less commonly used; the permanent changes in the temporal bones, induce...
Article
Full-text available
Recent ancient DNA (aDNA) studies of human pathogens have provided invaluable insights into their evolutionary history and prevalence in space and time. Most of these studies were based on DNA extracted from teeth or postcranial bones. In contrast, no pathogen DNA has been reported from the petrous bone which has become the most desired skeletal el...
Article
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Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) may play a role in the development of coronary artery disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a method based on postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) for the estimation of EAT volume. We PMCT-scanned the eviscerated hearts of 144 deceased individuals, who underwent a medicolegal autopsy. Using Mimics® we p...
Article
Estimating an individual body mass (BM) from the skeleton is a challenge for forensic anthropology. However, identifying someone’s BMI (Body Mass Index) category, i.e. underweight, normal, overweight or obese, could contribute to identification. Individual BM is also known to influence the age-at-death estimation from the skeleton. Several methods...
Poster
Full-text available
Infectious middle ear disease (IMED) constitutes today a major health problem worldwide in both developed and developing countries1. Palaeopathological evidence shows that humans have suffered globally from IMED for thousands of years2. Evidence of IMED has predominantly involved microscopic and macroscopic examinations of the auditory ossicles or...
Poster
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Poster presented at the International Association of Forensic Sciences conference in 2017, Toronto, Canada.
Article
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Establishing the age at which prehistoric individuals move away from their childhood residential location holds crucial information about the socio dynamics and mobility patterns in ancient societies. We present a novel combination of strontium isotope analyses performed on the over 3000 year old “Skrydstrup Woman” from Denmark, for whom we compile...
Data
Archaeological contextualization and additional analytical details with diagrams and data tables. (PDF)
Poster
Full-text available
Background Reports by minors of sexual relations against their will are not rare, and in some cases pornographic photography is a part of the abuse.1 Such material can be used to help identify the perpetrator. Aim In this study we examined the efficacy of visual comparison between high quality still photographs and low quality video recording still...
Article
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Calculation of the estimated body surface area (BSA) by body height and weight has been a challenge in the past centuries due to lack of a well-documented gold standard. More recently, available techniques such as 3D laser surface scanning and CT scanning may be expected to quantify the BSA in an easier and more accurate way. This study provides th...
Article
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Large-scale genomic analyses of ancient human populations have become feasible partly due to refined sampling methods. The inner part of petrous bones and the cementum layer in teeth roots are currently recognized as the best substrates for such research. We present a comparative analysis of DNA preservation in these two substrates obtained from th...
Data
Endogenous DNA content correlated with average length of mapped reads, based on sequencing data from all DNA extracts. Names refer to the sample names listed in Table 2. T = tooth, P = petrous bone, S = parietal (skull) bone. (PDF)