Modern DNA Lab (Laboratory for modern DNA)

Development and optimisation of molecular techniques used in DNA research

Modern DNA Lab (Laboratory for modern DNA)


Institute for Mummy Studies
Eurac Research
c/o NOI Techpark
Via Volta 13a, 39100 Bozen
T +39 0471 055 564

  • International Fablab Association
  • Freie Univeristät Bozen
  • Museion
About the lab

The Modern DNA Lab at Eurac Research is an essential facility for the development and optimisation of molecular techniques used in ancient DNA research. It gives researchers the opportunity to work with high copy number molecular products and to test new approaches before they are directly applied to precious bio-archaeological material and individuals. The principal method applied in this laboratory is targeted enrichment, which is a method for isolating human or microbial DNA from complex samples. In cases where endogenous DNA content is low, this molecular technique has a range of approaches and can, for example, enable the researchers to focus on population genetics, markers of genetic disease and the complete genome reconstruction of ancient pathogens. To avoid sample cross-contamination, the modern lab is physically separated from the dedicated ancient DNA clean room.

Institute for Mummy Studies at Eurac Research

The researchers at the Institute for Mummy Studies at Eurac Research (molecular biologists, physical anthropologists and conservators) follow a distinctly multidisciplinary approach to the study of ancient finds. The Institute was founded in 2007 and became internationally renowned for its research on the South Tyrolean Iceman and other archaeological finds as well as skeletons and mummies from around the world and different historical periods. The aims of our research are to investigate the history of human populations, the evolution of pathogens and the conservation of archaeological finds. We analyse archaeological remains by combining the conventional methods of anthropology with innovative techniques such as CT scans, nanotechnology and molecular biology. Besides offering unique insights into the study of human population history, our interdisciplinary approach contributes to an improved understanding and visibility of cultural heritage. The Institute gives graduates and undergraduates the unique opportunity to gain practical experience in biomolecular archaeology and the analysis of skeletal remains at its laboratories.