In Reply: Drs Lorenzen and Willerslev are incorrect regarding insufficient contamination prevention and quality control measures during our study. In addition, authentic, adequately preserved DNA can indeed be obtained from Egyptian mummy tissue (Figure 1) but requires specifically adapted extraction protocols.
Figure 1. Agarose Gel Electrophoresis of 12 Representative DNA Extractions From Egyptian Mummies Described in the Original Article
Although each aliquot contains only 5 μL of extract (which amounts to 5%-10% of a standard extract), the DNA is clearly visible. Lanes 2, 5, 8, 9, and 11 show DNA extractions that contain fragment sizes up to 500 base pairs (bp) and longer, despite the small volume of the loaded DNA aliquots. Each lane represents a different mummy.