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Laboratory News


Paleo-DNA Laboratory works on more aliens?


Paleo-DNA Laboratory assists in research on Starchild skull - part alien?


Paleo-DNA Laboratory involved in DNA research on Franklin crew's remains


Paleo-DNA Laboratory participates in Doors Open Thunder Bay 2016

Doors Open Thunder Bay is held every two years and showcases buildings of architectural and historical significance, as well as our community's cultural centres, natural spaces, and infrastructure. In 2016, the Ontario Heritage Trust's Doors Open Ontario theme was "medical science and innovation". This provincial theme was highlighted through several local venues, including the Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory.


Paleo-DNA Laboratory assists in research on mysterious elongated Peruvian skulls!

Nephilim Hybrids by L.A. Marzulli features research done at the Paleo-DNA Laboratory. To see the book cover, click here. To see the Watchers TV show click here.


Paleo-DNA Laboratory in featured news item on ShawTV.

Originally aired April 10, 2014.


Paleo-DNA Laboratory helps to unravel mystery of mummified hand

Origin of mummified hand identified. Click here to read the article.


Paleo-DNA Laboratory assists archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) with lineage of 12,000 year old bones.


Paleo-DNA Laboratory and our partner DNA My Dog Featured on page 12 of The Walleye

(June 2013, page 12) Discover the breeds in your dog with the Canine Breed Identification Kit as featured in The Walleye. Click here to read the article.



Paleo-DNA Laboratory and our partner DNA My Dog Featured in The Wall Street Journal online.

(Article appeared in June 6, 2013 edition) A new test can now determine the breeds in deceased dogs. Click here to read the article.



Paleo-DNA Laboratory Featured in a 3-part Article in Metro News

Mitochondrial DNA and ancestry testing in the March 15, 2013 edition of Metro News.


Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Lab Work Featured in an episode of America Unearthed - "Motive for Murder"

(Program aired February 15, 2013.) Click here for the video. To get to the video, click the "set age gate off" and type "America Unearthed - Motive for Murder" in the search box at the top of the screen. The episode examines the circumstances of Meriwether Lewis' (Lewis and Clarke expedition 1804-1806) death and asks the question - was he murdered?


Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Lab Work Featured in National Geographic Channel Documentary, "Human Lampshade: A Holocaust Mystery"

(Program aired in the U.S. on September 29, 2012 at 9 pm.) Click here for the video. Warning: contains disturbing images, viewer discretion is advised.

Click here for the story on the National Geographic website.




Paleo-DNA Laboratory Receive Federal Funding for MitoNorth Database

(March 06, 2012)


Lakehead University's Paleo-DNA Laboratory in partnership with Warnex PRO-DNA Services Laboratory has received funding from FedNor to create a North American mitochondrial DNA database.

See links below for full story:


Canada Newswire

TB Newswatch






First Century Burial Shroud and Disease Found in Jerusalem Tomb

(December 16, 2009 – Thunder Bay, ON) Dr. Carney Matheson, Scientific Officer of the Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory as well as Anthropology Professor at Lakehead, is involved in another investigation of ancient DNA that could have significant implications.  Dr. Matheson co-authored a new research paper that has just been published in PLoS ONE, a scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science. The paper presents scientific research conducted on “The Tomb of the Shroud,” – a tomb found in Jerusalem dating back to the time of Jesus. 

This rock-hewn burial cave, originally discovered by an archaeological team led by Shimon Gibson, Boaz Zissu, and James Tabor, belongs to a cemetery known as Akeldama or “Field of Blood,” as described in the Bible (cf. Matthew 27:3-8; Acts 1:19), and located in the lower Hinnom Valley in Jerusalem. In comparison to more than 70 other tombs in the Akeldama area, this particular tomb is unique as it contains remnants of a burial shroud and evidence of leprosy (Hansen’s disease) and tuberculosis in the shrouded male remains within it.  This is the oldest known case of leprosy with confirmed dates and molecular evidence. Some of the other individuals in this multi-chambered tomb showed signs of tuberculosis, and ancient human DNA was detected to piece together the family relationships.

The molecular investigation of the first century shrouded man was led by Professor Charles Greenblatt of the Hebrew University, first conducted at the Hebrew University’s Kuvin Centre for Tropical and Infectious Disease and later replicated at Lakehead University’s Paleo-DNA Laboratory.  Additional work was conducted by Helen Donoghue at the London -based University College’s Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health.....continued.... 


Remarkably, no other first century tomb from Jerusalem had hitherto been examined by molecular methods. “The discovery of the presence of M. tuberculosis and M. leprae in the individuals buried within the "Tomb of the Shroud" is significant in understanding the geographical and temporal distribution of tuberculosis and leprosy in antiquity,” explains Dr. Matheson. “This research is evidence that molecular pathology clearly adds a new dimension to the archaeological exploration of disease in ancient times, and it showcases the world-class forensic work on ancient human DNA undertaken at Lakehead's Paleo-DNA laboratory.”

The successful genetic analysis of unique archaeological sites such as "Tomb of the Shroud" poses great promise for future investigations into host-pathogen relationships and evolution, geographic distribution, and epidemiology of disease and social health in antiquity.

Click here to read the research paper in full. 






The following article appeared on the front page of the Chronicle Journal

on Monday August 25, 2008:



Special to the Chronicle-Journal
Paleo-DNA Lab: A Jewel in Thunder Bay’s Crown

by Tim Anderson

Move over CSI, Northwestern Ontario has the real deal: Lakehead University’s Paleo-DNA Laboratory. It would surprise most Thunder Bay residents to know that the forensic marvels seen on television can be found right here at home. The Paleo-DNA Lab, or PDL, is a world-class facility capable of performing DNA analyses on .....


For the complete story, please click here:




Knights Templar Tomb Discovered in France: Lakehead's Paleo DNA Assists in Identification
May 5, 2008

A hidden tomb in the mountains of the Languedoc region of southwest France has the archaeological community buzzing, and Lakehead University?s Paleo DNA Laboratory has played a role in creating that buzz.

For the complete story, please click here.




Paleo-DNA Laboratory highlighted in the Winter 2007 issue

of Lab Business Magazine


Article Exerpt:

Lakehead’s Paleo-DNA Laboratory
Modern genetics solves ancient mysteries

By Erica Tennenhouse

Few labs can boast that they have analyzed what might be the DNA of Jesus Christ himself. But earlier this year, the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University was challenged with exactly that task, when bones from the Talpiot Tomb near Jerusalem, deemed by archaeologists to likely have belonged to Jesus and Mary Magdalene, were shipped off to the lab.

Stephen Fratpietro, technical manager of the lab,

explains that... click here for full article




  • National Post coverage of WWI MIA Soldier Identification.
  • The History of the Battle of Vimy Ridge from Veterans Affairs Canada