Of Vikings and their DNA, and how our early urbanization was driven by migration

Building CPG and organizing symposiums are super-fun. But we are researchers, employed to produce research. So therefore we have produced some research: genomic data from 23 late Vikings (in all senses), and additional strontium data from even more of those Vikings, published in Current Biology today. This is one of those ATLAS-papers we have spent…

The Age of Humans in Europe

The Age of Humans in Europe is the name of a symposium I and Mattias Jakobsson are behind, and which Wenner-Gren is generously supporting. And especially Maria Helgöstam has been lifting a lot of weight to make it happen. Merging archaeology and genetics into a fertile sub-discipline has been something I have been working with…

Returning to Hague

With vacation over some three weeks ago, it was 200km/h from the first hour in the office. One of the many things moving now is CPG. Over the latest weeks we have had architects checking our equipment and preparing for adapting the laboratories, and Malin Cederth Wahlström is now on board with the task of…

EEBST in Izmir

This year EEBST (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Symposium, Turkey) are having their meeting in Izmir. This is a fun event to visit. Quit a few young scientists, Ph.D. students and postdocs, are visiting it, and presenting. And the topics spans from spider-diversity to the origin of Turkish-speakers. Normally the climate would be a little bit…

Elsevier, Open Access, and the support Stockholm University provides

Stockholm University (SU) no longer have access to publications from Elsevier. According to SU, the amount of money Elsevier demanded reached an unsustainable level. It will of course be annoying not to have instant access to the latest publications, but I fully support SUs decision (or actually the Swedish libraries, including Stockholm University). Our deal…

Summertime is visitortime

Science is fun on so many levels. One is that it brings people together, people that would not meet otherwise. And actually, a wise table-tennis coach (Nisse Sandberg) once told me that the best peace-work is to get people from different parts of the world to know each other personally. These days we have visitors…

Who is the father?

”READ values suggests that the older woman in this grave is related to the infant in this grave on a second-degree basis. Given the mitochondria and the datings it must be a grandma – grandson relation.”. Maja and David have spent a few days in Poznan with Anna Juras and Maciej Chyleński, working on the…

Liquorish and teenagers

When we started the ATLAS-work, there were a few specific studies we had in mind, and we also expected more to emerge as we went along. But there are two that has been with us more or less since we started. And that has consumed much attention. The study on mesolithics in Scandinavia was one…

Life without palaeo-eskimos

Studies come and go. And then there are some that stays for a longer time. And sometimes there is a case of one that has been with you for a very long time. For me this is the palaeo-eskimos. They have been with me since I started in this field. And strangely, since I sampled…

Nature and the new laboratories

Much of the end of last week came to focus on the Centre for Palaeogenetics (CPG), the new aDNA facility we are building in Stockholm. The contract was signed and it caught some attention in the social medias. But interestingly, Nature had a news flash on the positives of joining a new laboratory about the…

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…

More work on the course

Wednesdays are good days to spend in Office 2. Actually, most days are good days both for Office 1 and Office 2. But today I had scheduled for Office 2 and some course work. And although we ended up working on other pressing issues, we did at least get a little bit of course-work done….