Spirit Collections

Alan Harvey aharvey at AMNH.ORG
Fri Aug 25 12:29:45 CDT 1995

John Simmons wrote:


>Formaldehyde is a good to excellent preservative for most tissues, but
>not a good preservative for most tissues ...

Was this supposed to read: "Formaldehyde is a good to excellent fixative
for most tissues, but not a good preservative for most tissues ..." ?  If
so (actually, even if not), could someone explain the difference between
"fixation" and "preservation"?  This must be an embarrassingly elementary
question, but I've had a hard time finding a definition of the term
"fixation" that is explicit and relevant to collection studies.  E.g., I
vaguely recall the phrase "cross-linking of proteins" in connection with
fixation, but don't know why that's beneficial to specimen preparations.




Alan W. Harvey (aharvey at amnh.org)
Assistant Curator of Invertebrates
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5638

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