DNA Identification Facilities

Ancient DNA (aDNA) refers to DNA that is preserved within biological material tens to hundreds of thousands years old remains. DNA decay begins immediately after death and degradation is impacted by time, but more significantly by the surrounding environmental conditions. Unlike DNA extracted from fresh samples (for example, from the samples collected from relatives in the Family Reference DNA Database), aDNA left in remains is mostly in minute quantity and poor quality.

The historical remains recovered by the UWC-A are similarly affected by environmental conditions. Therefore the techniques to overcome some of the issues associated with aDNA can be applied to the DNA identification approach for these historical remains.

We have established two new DNA Identification laboratories to allow for the physical separation of the aDNA samples from the modern Family Reference DNA samples. Our aDNA facility is in a separate building that does not house any other DNA work to avoid further contamination to the aDNA samples from modern DNA samples.