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Disaster victim identification (DVI) poses unique challenges for forensic personnel. Typical scenarios may involve many bodies or body parts to identify in remote locations with limited access to laboratory facilities and in extreme temperatures. Transportation of tissue samples to a forensic laboratory for DNA profiling can take weeks without refrigeration. As well as protecting DNA for subsequent analysis, tissue preservation methods ideally should be safe, readily available and easy to transport to the scene at relatively low cost. We examined eight tissue preservatives (salt, DMSO, ethanol, ethanol with EDTA, TENT buffer, RNAlater(®), DNA Genotek Tissue Stabilising Kit and DNAgard(®)) and compared the quantity and quality of DNA recovered from human tissue and preservative solution stored at 35°C. Salt, DMSO, ethanol solutions, DNA Genotek and DNAgard(®) produced full Identifiler(®) genotypes up to one month from DNA extracts. In addition, DMSO, DNA Genotek and DNAgard(®) produced full profiles from aliquots of the liquid preservative. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


A Allen-Hall, D McNevin. Human tissue preservation for disaster victim identification (DVI) in tropical climates. Forensic science international. Genetics. 2012 Sep;6(5):653-7

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PMID: 22269964

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