Ever wonder how museums preserve their specimens and maintain them in such great condition? Well, about 95% of museums all over the world use ethanol for long term preservation! In most cases, ethanol is used in 70% solution due to its wonderful property of preserving DNA without causing much external damage to the organism.
In order to properly preserve specimens in ethanol one must avoid using shell vials with plastic lids in containers submerged in ethanol.
If not properly contained, one might also expect one of the following:
- Specimens must be placed in shell vials and completely submerged in ethanol.
- Shell vials must then be placed in a larger closed container with a cotton base and must also be submerged in ethanol.
- Ensure all shell vials are capped with cotton and each container has an appropriate label.