NEFU young researchers completed an internship at the Swedish Center for Paleogenetics

photo: from the archive of participants

  • 10 February 2020
  • 23

NEFU young researchers completed an internship at the Swedish Center for Paleogenetics

Students of the Institute of Natural Sciences of North-Eastern Federal University were invited to the Swedish Center for Paleogenetics. They isolated DNA from samples of the Pleistocene megafauna together with postdoctoral fellow Nicolas Dussex.

According to junior research associate at RIAEN Robert Markov, the internship lasted about two weeks. “The safety and degree of DNA isolation in samples from permafrost is very high compared with discoveries in never frozen soil. Therefore, it is necessary to engage in similar studies in Yakutia. The restored DNA opens up prospects for studying ancient animals, building a genome, comparing the phylogenetics of modern and ancient animals, studying genes and much more,” said the head of the delegation.

To isolate ancient DNA, two days are necessary according to the isolation protocol. “Then two more to prepare the bank for genetic analysis. Then it takes time for sequencing in the sequencer,” said Robert Markov.

During the internship, Sardaana Efremova was trained according to the general rules of conduct in ultrapure laboratories, studied sampling methods for ancient bones and teeth, including methods for extracting DNA from such materials and the process of creating Illumina DNA bank for genome sequencing. “We were one of the first who started to work in the new laboratory. We mastered the technique of isolating ancient DNA and the basics of bioinformatics. It was exciting to work with new equipment,” the young researcher shared.


The Paleogenetics Center is a joint research institution of Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

The goal of the center is to attract researchers from various disciplines: biology, archeology and geology, as well as get acquainted with bioinformatical analysis of genomic data.

Author: Anna BAISAKOVA, NEFU Newsroom

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