NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Applied Biosystems has provided technology and training to the government of Egypt to help it outfit a lab aimed at using DNA tools to identify mummies.
ABI said it stocked the lab with DNA analysis instruments, reagents, and software. Among the technologies supplied by ABI are a 9700 thermocycler, a 3130 Genetic Analyzer, and a PCR amplification kit.
Based in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo, the lab will use the technologies to identify the mummy of Hatshepsut, a powerful Egyptian queen and pharaoh of the 15th Century BC.
The lab, which has been running tests on the instruments since April, will also seek to identify other mummies that have been removed from their tombs, and to “clarify familial relationships within and between Egypt’s ancient dynasties.”
In a statement, Nicola Oldroyd, an ABI senior forensic specialist, said that “initial results are very promising as both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA have been retrieved and amplified for these mummies.”
ABI was enlisted for the project by the Discovery Channel, which will air a two-hour special, called “Secrets of Egypt’s Lost Queen,” in July that documents the search for Hatshepsut and the quest to positively identify her remains.
Hatsepshut’s death and the possible disappearance of her remains have long posed a mystery to Egyptologists.