Extraction of amplifiable DNA from embalmed human cadaver tissue

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Objective: The expansion of molecular techniques in medical diagnosis, forensics, and education requires the development of improved techniques of DNA extraction from fixed tissues. Cadaver tissues are not commonly used for genetic analysis due to DNA degradation resulting from the embalming fixation. Modification of existing techniques of tissue disruption combined with phenol-chloroform treatment was done to produce an efficient method of extracting amplifiable DNA of high quality and quantity from non-paraffin embedded embalmed cadaver tissue. Results: Tissues (cerebellum, cerebral cortex, heart, and bone) from four cadavers were used to develop a procedure for DNA isolation, which includes a high heat treatment. The location and age of the tissue had a significant effect on the quantity of DNA recovered. Targeted PCR amplification of the Apolipoprotein gene was used to assess the efficacy of genotypic analysis from the recovered DNA. We report the development of a simple, reliable, and low-cost method of DNA isolation utilizing brain tissue from embalmed tissues that could be used for PCR amplification and genetic analysis.




Gielda, L., & Rigg, S. (2017). Extraction of amplifiable DNA from embalmed human cadaver tissue. BMC Research Notes, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-017-3066-y

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