The Metals Laboratory Tests Beethoven’s Hair: Paul Jannetto, Ph.D.

Answers From the Lab

In this episode of “Answers From the Lab,” host Bobbi Pritt, M.D., chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology at Mayo Clinic, is joined by Paul Jannetto, Ph.D., director of the Metals Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, and Sarah Erdahl, technical specialist coordinator in the Metals Laboratory. They discuss their unique opportunity to complete testing on locks of hair from the composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

Specific topics of discussion include:

  • How Mayo Clinic came to be involved in the project, and what historians were hoping to learn from the test results.
  • The technical process of preparing, handling, and testing Beethoven’s hair.
  • What the test results revealed about Beethoven’s health.
  • An overview of Mayo Clinic’s Metals Laboratory and the specialized testing that occurs in the lab.

Podcast episode

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Podcast episode in video format

"Answers From the Lab" is a Mayo Clinic Laboratories curated podcast sharing knowledge and advancements regarding the state of testing, laboratory science, and the people who make it all happen behind the scenes. 

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting.