Of Bubbles and Gum

Her name was Lola. At least that’s what Danish archeologists are calling the female whose DNA was discovered in birch bark she had chewed 5,700 years ago. The sticky resin was used prehistorically to fix broken tools, for medicinal purposes, and for gum.

The discovery was notable because no other remains of this ancient inhabitant were found. Lola’s complete genetic makeup – eye color (blue), hair (dark), and health (lactose intolerant) – was determined entirely from the saliva left behind in the gum.

Reported a researcher from Uppsala University, “It’s as close as we’ll ever come to standing face to face with an individual from the Stone Age.”

As the father of two girls, ages 10 and 6, we are no strangers to finding well-preserved gum in unexpected places. Still, reconstructing whole persons from it is eye-raising.

No less surprising was the strength of credit markets as we wrapped up 2019. Gone were fears of a US downturn signaled by an inverted yield curve, as the long-end rebalanced