X-Message-Number: 13947
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 10:38:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: methanol fixation

  Modified formalin and methanol fixation
  methods for molecular biological and morphological analyses.
  Pathology International.  47(10):685-91, 1997 Oct.
  Several simplified fixation methods were examined to
  determine their suitability for both molecular biological analyses and
  morphological study. Fixation with 10% v/v formalin alone at
  4 degrees C and containing 5 mmol/L ethylenediamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic
  acid (EDTA) at room temperature preserved significantly more
  high-molecular-weight DNA than 10% v/v formalin fixation at
  room temperature. The morphological differences between
  tissues fixed using these modified formalin
  fixation methods and conventional 10% v/v formalin
  fixation were negligible. Of the dehydration fixatives
  tested, 100% methanol did not cause regional differences due
  to artificial tissue shrinkage and the morphology of
  sections prepared by methanol fixation was
  preserved consistently better than that of acetone- or ethanol-fixed
  sections. All three dehydration fixatives preserved relatively
  higher-molecular-weight DNA and RNA, compared with formalin. Cold formalin,
  formalin containing EDTA at room temperature and 100%
  methanol are recommended as standard and additional
  fixatives routine clinicopathological laboratory use.

  Additional note by poster:
  Inexpensive technique for mummifying a brain:

  1. Purchase silica gel cat litter from a pet store.
  2. Purchase methanol antifreeze from a hardware store.
  3. Mix silica gel and methanol together in a vat.
  4. Place brain in vat.
  5. Wait till all water is removed from brain.
  6. Remove brain from vat.
  7. Let methanol evaporate. (Methanol boils at 64.7 C)

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