This is the fifth year that DCEXS has held its symposium. The topics covered during previous editions were in silico strategies in biomedicine, neurosciences and genetics, evolutionary biology and cell signaling. Some archaeological or ethnographic specimens are not available for direct examination using a scanning electron microscope because of methodological obstacles. For example, the piece is too large to fit in the chamber of such an instrument, or it is a structure that cannot be moved from its place, such as a ceremonial altar. There may also be legal problems, because the custodian or owner does not allow it to be removed from the museum or private collection. In this context, synthetic replicas are making their way into many fields. Currently, dentistry, paleontology, criminology and archeology are

already some of the fields where they are applied. At the IPHES (Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social), synthetic replicas have been used in different types of research (taphonomy, palaeoanthropology, prehistoric technology) for a long time. In prehistoric technology, until now this type of Bulgaria Email List replica has been used for the microscopic examination of traces of use, but its application to organic waste has not received the same interest. Now, this situation may change with the scientific contribution made by Policarp Hortolà, biologist and researcher at IPHES. In an experimental study published in the journal Microscopy and Microanalysis, Policarp Hortolà shows that synthetic replicas can faithfully reproduce the morphology of red blood cells in blood spots. Therefore, “they are feasible for identification,

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“Methodologically, this is where it represents the most important advance, since it is possible to examine replicas of organic residues under the microscope instead of the originals,” says the same researcher. Furthermore, it could be applicable to organic residues other than blood (muscle, skin, tendon, etc.), as well as to the surface of other types of specimens, for example, clinical samples or industrial parts, when for any reason the original does not it is available for microscopic study. To find out the viability of synthetic replicas, Professor Hortolà carried out an experimental study with stains of human blood on stone, wood and shell, which are some of the organic materials used by prehistoric and ethnohistoric societies for the manufacture of their objects.

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