The HCB-IDIBAPS Biobank launches a new area devoted to ancient DNA

In September the Biobank of the Hospital Clínic - IDIBAPS expanded its platform with the opening of a fourth area, the Bank of ancient DNA. The ancient DNA (aDNA) is a research area that started in the mid 80s and has been constantly expanding since then thanks to the improvement of molecular biology techniques. From the perspective of biological anthropology, the study of aDNA has enabled to establish the origin, structure and evolution of human populations. The field of paleogenetics can also be useful for detecting genetic diseases and thus discover its origins and prevalence.

The moment of DNA extraction is crucial because recovering high quality DNA ensures the success of subsequent procedures and, consequently, better analysis. The aDNA is characterized by a low number of copies and being fragmented or degraded, which makes it susceptible to being contaminated by modern DNA. Precautions and controls must be very strict.

Biobanc IDIBAPS Hospital ClínicThe aDNA new lab is located on the basement of the CEK Building, and consists of 30 square meters equipped with positive pressure and ultraviolet light. The area is mainly focused on the extraction of DNA from ancient teeth from human remains belonging to a site of the first century AD located in the city of Tarragona. It was possible thanks to funding from the Medigene European health project (7th FP), and was supported by CIBERDEM.

The aim of this pioneering project is to create a collection of aDNA samples with the highest quality by following the most accurate and sterile procedures.