Since 2010, the EURAC Institute of Mummies and the Iceman hosts an ancient DNA (aDNA) facility dedicated to the molecular analysis of ancient human remains.
The aDNA laboratory provides an excellent basis to carry out research at the intersection between archaeology/anthropology and molecular biology. The main focus of our studies is genomic and relationship analysis of ancient human remains and the diagnosis of ancient pathogens to predict disease onsets and developments. These studies are complemented by histological investigations and we aim to constantly improve and develop molecular methods adapted to ancient DNA research.
Detailed description of the ancient DNA facility
Pre and Post PCR
The ancient DNA facility is divided in two separate areas. Sample processing, DNA extraction, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) setup steps are performed in a dedicated pre-PCR area following a strict protocol required for the study of ancient DNA. The working steps are carried out in three different rooms.
The second area, the post-PCR area, is used for all molecular downstream processes such as PCR and sequencing as well as histological analysis.
- I Gowning room
- II Sample processing room
- III DNA extraction room
- IV PCR- and reagent setup room
- V-VIII post-PCR rooms