Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Applied Biosystems plans DNA lab in Egypt to study mummies

Applied Biosystems Group on Wednesday said it is establishing the first laboratory in Egypt dedicated to testing ancient DNA samples. The Foster City subsidiary of Applera Corp. (NYSE:ABI)said it is collaborating on the lab with the Discovery Channel and Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The laboratory, which is located in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, began testing samples from ancient royal mummies from the 18th Dynasty in April as part of a project to identify the mummy of Hatshepsut, Egypt's most famous female pharaoh.

The primary purpose of the new DNA laboratory is to assist in the identification of this and other mummies that have been removed from their original tombs, and to clarify familial relationships within and between Egypt's ancient dynasties. This is the first time DNA testing has been used to try to identify an ancient Egyptian pharaoh.

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