What does the hardened gunk mean?

 
It’s pretty standard for scientists to look at human skeletons to reconstruct past human health. But a new approach looks not at our ancestors themselves but the hardened gunk on their teeth to re-create the timeline of human dietary changes.
 
 
I think when I have written nut grafs in the past, I tend to construct them similar to that of a thesis. It has taken a really long time to figure out that they can be fun, catchy, and casual. And that is what I like about this one. It is casual enough to keep my interest (because I’m just not the type of person who likes to read really serious, political-y stuff), and it is catchy enough for me to really want to know more.
 
I feel like the strengths in this nut graf are in words like:
reconstruct
gunk
timeline
 
Not that I will be writing about hardened ‘gunk’ on anyone’s teeth anytime soon … but I would tend to write a nut graf that is in this style.
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