Congratulations Nathalie Mouttham

Everyone at the McMaster aDNA Centre would like to congratulate Nathalie Mouttham for the successful completion of her MSc defence. We wish her success in all her future endeavours.

Congratulations Alison Devault

The entire McMaster aDNA Centre would like to congratulate Alison Devault for the successful completion of her PhD thesis defence. We would also like to congratulate her on her new position at Mycroarray. We wish her all the best in all her future endeavours.

Congratulations Jacob Enk

The entire McMaster aDNA Centre would like to extend its congratulations to Jake Enk for the successful completion of his PhD thesis defence. We would also like to congratulate him on his new position at MYcroarray. We wish him success in all his future endeavours.

Alison Devault interview about the Microbial Detection Arrary (MDA) on AM 900 CHML Interview Matt Holmes Show

PhD candidate Alison Devault talks about the Microbial Detection Array (MDA) the subject of her latest paper “Ancient pathogen DNA in archaeological samples detected with a Microbial Detection Array.”

Archived Interview

Ancient pathogen DNA in archaeological samples detected with a Microbial Detection Array

Authors: Alison M. Devault, Kevin McLoughlin, Crystal Jaing, Shea Gardner, Teresita M. Porter, Jacob M. Enk, James Thissen, Jonathan Allen, Monica Borucki, Sharon N. DeWitte, Anna N. Dhody, and Hendrik N. Poinar

Scientific Reports, Vol. 4, Article No. 4245, March 2014, pp. 1–8; doi: 10.1038/srep04245

Abstract

Ancient human remains of paleopathological interest typically contain highly degraded DNA in which pathogenic taxa are often minority components, making sequence-based metagenomic characterization costly. Microarrays may hold a potential solution to these challenges, offering a rapid, affordable, and highly informative snapshot of microbial diversity in complex samples without the lengthy analysis and/or high cost associated with high-throughput sequencing. Their versatility is well established for modern clinical specimens, but they have yet to be applied to ancient remains. Here we report bacterial profiles of archaeological and historical human remains using the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA). The array successfully identified previously-verified bacterial human pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (cholera) in a 19th century intestinal specimen and Yersinia pestis (“Black Death” plague) in a medieval tooth, which represented only minute fractions (0.03% and 0.08% alignable high-throughput shotgun sequencing reads) of their respective DNA content. This demonstrates that the LLMDA can identify primary and/or co-infecting bacterial pathogens in ancient samples, thereby serving as a rapid and inexpensive paleopathological screening tool to study health across both space and time.

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