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CyI Researchers Among the First External Users at INFN DAFNE-Light Synchrotron Radiation Facility After COVID-19 Lockdowns

In September 2020, the DAFNE-Light Synchrotron Radiation Facility welcomed a researcher from BioMERA and FF-MAC projects led by The Cyprus Institute, and from SESAME, who was the first international user to be welcomed by DAFNE-Light since the COVID-19 lockdowns in Italy, Cyprus and around the world. The research focus was on investigating ancient human remains from the island of Cyprus, using synchrotron radiation Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy to explore the preservation status of these almost 6000-year-old remains. 

The research is now becoming a three-way collaboration between The Cyprus Institute's BioMERA and FF-MAC projects, SESAME, and DAFNE-Light, on the: “Identification, characterisation and exploration of diagenesis of ancient human remains in Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East (DIAGHREM proposal)”.  

“I am very privileged to have been able to prepare samples and conduct measurements here at DAFNE-Light at this time. Despite all the health and safety measures, I felt really welcome”, says Simone Lemmers, CyI Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on FF-MAC project. Dr Mariangela Cestelli Guidi, the Principal IR Beamline Scientist at DAFNE-Light stated: “Restarting our international research activities after the lockdowns with this project focusing on people who lived so long ago has a special significance”.

“With careful planning and coordination, the collaborative team was able to successfully prepare challenging archaeological samples for infrared spectroscopy and to perform another fruitful series of measurements related to this long term project”, added Dr Gihan Kamel, the Principal Infrared Beamline Scientist at SESAME.​ CyI Assistant Professor and the project leader for BioMERA and FF-MAC Dr Kirsi Lorentz, said: “This successful research visit to the INFN DAFNE-Light synchrotron radiation facility during these unprecedented times offers perspectives for continuity and new ways forward in international scientific collaborations”.

This research is funded by the Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot (FF-MAC) project, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation (grant no. INTEGRATED/0609/29), and BioMERA (Platform for Biosciences and Human Health in Cyprus: MicroCT Enabled and Synchrotron Radiation Enabled Analyses),] Grant No [INFRASTRUCTURES/1216/0009] by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation. Transnational access to DAFNE-Light was made possible by the CALIPSOplus EU Project Grant Agreement N. 730872, WP15 - TA10 Transnational Access to DAFNE-SPARC.