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MKU to team up with Harvard University for DNA research on Keezhadi artefacts

University will perform preliminary analysis, but critical one will be in Harvard

Published: 02nd February 2020 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2020 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

Workers engaged in digging ring wells at Keezhadi excavation site

By Express News Service

MADURAI: Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Harvard University on March 30 to conduct testing of artefacts, which were unearthed from the Keezhadi excavation site, for DNA. Speaking to TNIE, MKU’s Vice-Chancellor (V-C) M Krishnan said that talks with the Harvard University’s David Reich Laboratory were on the final stage.

“Once the MoU is signed, experts from the Department of Genetics’ lab in the Harvard Medical School will train the varsity faculty on DNA sequencing. While the faculty will perform the preliminary analysis, the final and the critical analysis (the next-generation sequencing) will be carried out at the Harvard,” the V-C said. He also added that artifacts recovered from Keezhadi, Adhichanallur, and Kodumanal would be sent to the Harvard after the completion of the preliminary DNA analysis. 

“Professor R M Pitchappan, a key researcher in genomics, has been instrumental in MKU’s collaboration with the Harvard. A separate room has been allocated in the varsity campus to carry out the research works,” the V-C further said.

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