X-Message-Number: 21903
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 07:56:23 EDT
Subject: copal

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Copal is a dried form of some tropical conifer sap.  I have ground some 

samples and disolved them in some organic products. The best result seems to be

with acetone (sp?). Depending on the concentration, the final product is a brown
liquid or a sticky paste. After drying there is a gumy product, with more time 
it would, no doubt revert to the original hard yellow solid.

Because acetone seems to go throughout the skin fairly fast and readily it 
seems it could  be a good solution for chemical conservation.

The fossil form of copal, amber, is known to keep biological structures 

fairly well for extended time periods, up to tens of millions of years. It seems
that protection goes down to molecular level or nearly so.

The best conserved mummies, from China, was soaked in a similar liquid. But 
now we have a superior disolving agent with fast biological penetration.

Copal contains some strong heat shock-like proteins (chaperones), they could 
be useful in some prion illness and suggar induced injuries.

Yvan Bozzonetti.


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