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Many tissue and animal samples have been stored in formalin throughout modern history. These samples are a treasure house for evolutionary studies, anthropology and clinical epidemiology. Despite their numbers scattered in museums throughout the world and despite their value, most are left unexamined because formalin fixed material represents one of the most challenging of sample types for DNA extraction - which, of course, was not a consideration when the samples were laid down. Formalin fixation creates many protein and DNA modifications and these lead to acute PCR inhibition. Furthermore, poorly buffered formalin results to a level of acidity that seriously damages DNA. As a result, it is necessary to extract as much DNA as possible while minimizing the concentration of inhibitors in the extractive.
PrepGEM™ Retrieval, currently under development, is a formulation of prepGEM™ that is being optimized to extract these difficult samples and can yield usable DNA in hours instead of days. By gently lysing tissue, it is possible to release DNA while leaving most of the modified protein in the insoluble fraction. Furthermore, a higher temperature reaction, automatically reverses some of the modifications made to the DNA.
In short, if there is usable DNA in the tissue, prepGEM™ Retrieval will extract it.