Monday, July 16, 2007

DNA unveils the secrets of ancient Egyptian history

State Information Service

Applera Corp-Applied Biosystems Groups announced its collaboration with the Discovery Communications Inc. and Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities in establishing the first laboratory in Egypt dedicated to testing ancient DNA samples. The laboratory, which is located in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, began testing samples of ancient royal mummies dating back to the 18th Dynasty in April as part of a project to identify the mummy of Hatshepsut, Egypt's most famous queen. Discovery Channel enlisted the services of Applied Biosystems as part of a project aimed at discovering and identifying the lost mummy of Hatshepsut, one of the most important women in ancient Egyptian history. 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 in identifying an ancient Egyptian pharaoh.
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