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microraptorian

How do people extract soft tissue from dinosaur bones for study?

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microraptorian

I have read many of Dr. Schweitzer's papers and am wondering what the safest methods to extract soft tissue from dinosaur bones are. I cannot find any information on this topic so I figured I would start here. By soft tissue I mean apparent original biological molecules such as collagen, red blood cells, etc.. Thanks for any help on this topic!

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ynot

Welcome to TFF!

I have never heard of removing soft tissue from a fossil.

The closest I can come up with is making thin slice slide mounts.

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Fossildude19

There seem to be some papers out there, but many may be behind paywalls. :unsure:

Regards,

 

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microraptorian
5 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

There seem to be some papers out there, but many may be behind paywalls. :unsure:

Regards,

 

Thank you so so so much!

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jpc

Come to the 2017 Tate Conference and ask Mary in person.  She is our Keynote Speaker this year.  I will be posting more about this shortly.  

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microraptorian
41 minutes ago, jpc said:

Come to the 2017 Tate Conference and ask Mary in person.  She is our Keynote Speaker this year.  I will be posting more about this shortly.  

Too far, unfortunately, but I would quite appreciate any information you get on the subject from her. I await that post,

lol.

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jpc

Oh, Jeez, now I am almost forced to post something after the conference.  

 

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microraptorian
33 minutes ago, jpc said:

Oh, Jeez, now I am almost forced to post something after the conference.  

 

 

You don't have to if you don't want to lol.

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jpc
11 minutes ago, microraptorian said:

 

You don't have to if you don't want to lol.

but I might... 

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jpc
58 minutes ago, ohiofossilhunter said:

I have actually done some work with this as a side project while at college. Typically the technique uses either a solution of EDTA or HCl depending on the bone's preservation type. I had some success extracting microstructures using a 2.0 mol solution of HCl with daily changes of solution until there started to collect a silt on the bottom of the test tube. This silt typically contained many of the microstructures documented by Schweitzer. Both of the techniques can also work with modern and unfossilized bones.

cool... what sorts of microstructures?  

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ohiofossilhunter

They are microstructures that morphologically have the appearance of blood vessels and osteocytes. They did take up some stains for organic tissue and were fairly elastic, but my project got sidelined for awhile so I have been unable to continue work to see if they are original organic structures. 

 

Schweitzer has confirmed at least some original organic material in the bones she has been working with, including some proteins.

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microraptorian
On 2/26/2017 at 4:30 PM, ohiofossilhunter said:

I have actually done some work with this as a side project while at college. Typically the technique uses either a solution of EDTA or HCl depending on the bone's preservation type. I had some success extracting microstructures using a 2.0 mol solution of HCl with daily changes of solution until there started to collect a silt on the bottom of the test tube. This silt typically contained many of the microstructures documented by Schweitzer. Both of the techniques can also work with modern and unfossilized bones.

 

Where do you get the section of the bone you put in the acid from? Like do you just pick a random spot from a piece of bone you happen to have laying around and take it off, or is there a method to your madness?

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ohiofossilhunter

The best results came from the center of large fragments of dug bone, but we experimented with a variety of fragments with some even being float bone and nearly every sample produced microstructures. The dug unweathered bones produced much larger microstructures. 

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