What does a 5000-year-old Ice Man, crime-solving mummies and life on other planets have in common?

They are just some of the exciting topics being discussed at a free public day to be held at The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia on July 12.

Held as part of an international conference on ancient DNA, the public day will provide an opportunity to learn from the world`s leading experts in the areas of molecular biology, forensics, history and archaeology.

Conference organiser, Dr Tom Loy, said the public day is for anyone with an interest in forensic science and ancient DNA.

“Thanks to shows like CSI, there are a lot of people interested in the role forensic archaeology can play in solving crimes, both past and present,” Dr Loy said.

“Although the day is primarily aimed at school students and their teachers, we are welcoming anyone who’s interested in this ever-evolving area.”

Dr Loy, who lectures in forensic archaeology at UQ, will speak about Otzi the Ice Man’s fascinating history, how he died and the circumstances surrounding his death.

Other speakers include Dr Mark Spigelman who will discuss how he uses mummies to help solve ancient mysteries, as well as Dr Phillippa Uwins who has discovered mysterious entities, she calls nanobes.

There is much debate in the scientific community currently raging over whether the nanobes are a new type of life, which may help prove life has existed on other planets.

The public day is part of the 7th International Conference on Ancient DNA and Associated Biomolecules, to be held at UQ from July 10-17.

International experts in areas as diverse as ancient DNA, genetics, microbiology, medicine, criminal and wildlife forensics, population genetics and diseases will gather to network, learn and reflect on the latest developments in archaeology.

Places for the public day on Monday July 12 are limited, so those interested in attending should contact the University on +61 7 3365 7252 or [email protected], http://www.uq.edu.au