Brief communication: Minimally invasive bone sampling method for DNA analysis

Authors

  • Victoria E. Gibbon,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
    2. School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
    • Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Medical School, 7 York Rd, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
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  • Clem B. Penny,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
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  • Goran Štrkalj,

    1. Department of Health and Chiropractic, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
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  • Paul Ruff

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
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Abstract

Obtaining a bone sample for DNA analysis has traditionally been a destructive practice, which has resulted in reluctance on behalf of curators for skeletal collections to allow invasive testing. A novel minimally invasive bone sampling method for DNA analysis is presented here. This method uses a conventional hand drill wherein the bone sample is extracted from the intercondylar fossa of the femur; it does not interfere with any known anthropometric landmarks and only leaves a small hole on the surface of the bone. The temperature of the drill is documented and it was established due to the minor increase in temperature, that this should not affect the molecular integrity of the sample. This method is easily replicated and is suitable for both human and other animal skeletal material and can be applied to rare specimens with little risk. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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