CPG, the Centre for Palaeogenetics

In 1993 I was trying to squeeze DNA out of some bones from a neolithic passage-grave on the Baltic island Öland. It was not the first time it was attempted to get DNA from prehistoric material in Sweden, not even the second time (both Svante Pääbo and Per Persson had worked with ancient DNA in Sweden ahead of me), but I am pretty sure it was the first time it was attempted in Stockholm. As a Ph.D. student in archaeology at Stockholm University I did much of my work in the laboratory at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, where Love Dalén and his group is now based. As a matter of fact, over the years Love and I have been working in the same places quit often, but never at the same time.


Our chancellor Astrid Söderberg Widding, and Joakim Malmström who is heading the Swedish Museum of Natural History just signed a contract detailing the set-up of the Centre for Palaeogenetics. The joint effort is good for ancient DNA in Stockholm, and in Sweden. We are now preparing laboratories and offices for a facility where several research-groups engaged in palaeogenetics (may it be in archaeology, ecology, evolution, or any other subject) will be able to carry out their activities with the latest techniques, and the first units to move in will be my group, Loves group, and the SciLife ancient DNA service facility. But I also enjoy the effort for the reasons given above. I witnessed the first attempts of this sub-discipline in Stockholm, I saw the development both at the dept. Archaeology and at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (and quit a few times as collaborations), and now it is turning in to CPG.

Centre for Palaeogenetics, Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History