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Path to Effective Recovering of DNA from Formalin-Fixed Biological Samples in Natural History Collections: Workshop Summary

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Overview

Contributors

Description

Museums catalogue our knowledge of the Earth's biodiversity, and their collections represent many decades of work by experts. Access to DNA sequence information in archival specimens would greatly extend knowledge of the genetic relationships within our biosphere. However, molecular genetic analysis of museum specimens has been slowed by the usual practice of fixation and storage of samples in formalin. Formalin is an environmental toxin and induces genetic and chromosomal alterations to the samples.

Few of the many attempts to obtain and sequence DNA from formalin-fixed specimens stored in aqueous formalin or ethanol have been successful. All of the protocols are slow, difficult, and often expensive, and few produce DNA fragments longer than 500 base pairs. Path to Effective Recovering of DNA from Formalin-Fixed Biological Samples in Natural History Collections examines past attempts on DNA recovery from formalin-preserved biological specimens and discusses the research needed to advance the development of similar but more efficient and cost-effective protocols.

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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2006. Path to Effective Recovering of DNA from Formalin-Fixed Biological Samples in Natural History Collections: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11712.

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Publication Info

64 pages | 6 x 9
ISBNs:
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-10293-3
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-18082-5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/11712
Contents

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xii
Introduction 1-4
Workshop Proceedings 5-34
References 35-36
Appendix A: Glossary 37-38
Appendix B: Participant Biographies 39-48
Appendix C: Agenda 49-52
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