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Concept: Preservation


Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships.

Concepts: Evolution, Medical imaging, Phylogenetics, Gecko, Squamata, Fossil, Preservation, Lizard


Advancements in the detection of environmental DNA (eDNA) for detecting species of interest will likely allow for expanded use of these techniques in the field. One obstacle that continues to hinder applications in the field is the requirement of a cold chain of storage for water samples containing eDNA. While eDNA has been successfully preserved using Longmire’s lysis buffer applied to filters, it has yet to be tried with freshwater samples collected for eDNA detection of an invasive species. We tested the utility of Longmire’s solution (100 mM Tris, 100 mM EDTA, 10 mM NaCl, 0.5 % SDS, 0.2 % sodium azide) as an additive to freshwater samples for preservation of eDNA.

Concepts: DNA, Water, Sodium, Seawater, Salt, Preservation, Field Island, Sodium compounds


Cross education (CE) occurs after unilateral training whereby performance of the untrained contralateral limb is enhanced. A few studies have shown that CE can preserve or “spare” strength and size of an opposite immobilized limb, but the specificity (i.e., trained homologous muscle and contraction type) of these effects is unknown. The purpose was to investigate specificity of CE “sparing” effects with immobilization. The nondominant forearm of 16 participants was immobilized with a cast, and participants were randomly assigned to a resistance training (eccentric wrist flexion, 3 times/week) or control group for 4 weeks. Pre- and posttesting involved wrist flexors and extensors eccentric, concentric and isometric maximal voluntary contractions (via dynamometer), muscle thickness (via ultrasound), and forearm muscle cross-sectional area (MCSA; via peripheral quantitative computed tomography). Only the training group showed strength preservation across all contractions in the wrist flexors of the immobilized limb (training: -2.4% vs. control: -21.6%; P = 0.04), and increased wrist flexors strength of the nonimmobilized limb (training: 30.8% vs. control: -7.4%; P = 0.04). Immobilized arm MCSA was preserved for the training group only (training: 1.3% vs. control: -2.3%; P = 0.01). Muscle thickness differed between groups for the immobilized (training: 2.8% vs. control: -3.2%; P = 0.01) and nonimmobilized wrist flexors (training: 7.1% vs. control: -3.7%; P = 0.02). Strength preservation was nonspecific to contraction type ( P = 0.69, [Formula: see text] = 0.03) yet specific to the trained flexors muscle. These findings suggest that eccentric training of the nonimmobilized limb can preserve size of the immobilized contralateral homologous muscle and strength across multiple contraction types. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Unilateral strength training preserves strength, muscle thickness, and muscle cross-sectional area in an opposite immobilized limb. The preservation of size and strength was confined to the trained homologous muscle group. However, strength was preserved across multiple contraction types.

Concepts: Muscle, Muscle contraction, Strength training, Forearm, Upper limb, Wrist, Isometric exercise, Preservation


For more than 70 years unusual sauropod trackways have played a pivotal role in debates about the swimming ability of sauropods. Most claims that sauropods could swim have been based on manus-only or manus-dominated trackways. However none of these incomplete trackways has been entirely convincing, and most have proved to be taphonomic artifacts, either undertracks or the result of differential depth of penetration of manus and pes tracks, but otherwise showed the typical pattern of normal walking trackways. Here we report an assemblage of unusual sauropod tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, northern China, characterized by the preservation of only the pes claw traces, that we interpret as having been left by walking, not buoyant or swimming, individuals. They are interpreted as the result of animals moving on a soft mud-silt substrate, projecting their claws deeply to register their traces on an underlying sand layer where they gained more grip during progression. Other sauropod walking trackways on the same surface with both pes and manus traces preserved, were probably left earlier on relatively firm substrates that predated the deposition of soft mud and silt . Presently, there is no convincing evidence of swimming sauropods from their trackways, which is not to say that sauropods did not swim at all.

Concepts: Yellow River, Evidence, Swimming, Preservation, Sauropoda, Dinosaur, Claw, Gansu


Precise rare-cell technologies require the blood to be processed immediately or be stabilized with fixatives. Such restrictions limit the translation of circulating tumor cell (CTC)-based liquid biopsy assays that provide accurate molecular data in guiding clinical decisions. Here we describe a method to preserve whole blood in its minimally altered state by combining hypothermic preservation with targeted strategies that counter cooling-induced platelet activation. Using this method, whole blood preserved for up to 72 h can be readily processed for microfluidic sorting without compromising CTC yield and viability. The tumor cells retain high-quality intact RNA suitable for single-cell RT-qPCR as well as RNA-Seq, enabling the reliable detection of cancer-specific transcripts including the androgen-receptor splice variant 7 in a cohort of prostate cancer patients with an overall concordance of 92% between fresh and preserved blood. This work will serve as a springboard for the dissemination of diverse blood-based diagnostics.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Blood, Platelet, Benign tumor, Tumor, Neoplasm, Preservation


Esthetic failure within the esthetic zone can be caused by the presence of interdental black triangles due to the loss of interdental papillae. The position of the osseous crest represents the main determinant for the papilla height, and, therefore, interdental bone peaks should be preserved both during and following dental treatment. Osseointegrated titanium implants maintain bone levels at the site where they have been inserted, even when left non-loaded. This property of osseointegrated titanium implants can be applied to preserve interdental bone peaks. The technique described in this case report illustrates how small titanium bars were surgically inserted within the interdental osseous peaks in order to prevent bone resorption and maintain papilla height. Clinical measurements between a fixed reference point and the papilla tips were performed over a 12-month period. A positive gingival architecture was created and maintained even following multiple tooth extractions in the esthetic zone.

Concepts: Bone, Osteoclast, Dental implant, Dentistry, Preservation


This study evaluates the potential of using non-irradiated barrier-shrink bags containing ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH), polyamide (PA) and ethylene ionomer in their structures to preserve vacuum-packaged fresh beef as an alternative to traditional gamma-ray cross-linked bags containing polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC). Boneless beef rib eye roll cuts were vacuum-packed in an industrial processing plant using EVOH 44% mol, EVOH 32% mol and a control PVDC barrier shrink bags. The cuts were evaluated during storage at 0.5°C. The EVOH films presented similar performance compared to control PVDC barrier shrink bags related to bacteria growth and purge loss. Packages with EVOH 32% mol film presented better performance than control bag with respect to the meat sensorial attributes, including fewer bubbles and better adhesion. EVOH 44% mol bags presented the highest rate of colour loss. The EVOH 32% mol non-irradiated and chlorine-free film is as effective for the preservation of fresh beef as traditional PVDC-irradiated shrink bags.

Concepts: Bacteria, Effectiveness, Meat, Preservation, Steak, Thermoplastics, Bag, Polyvinylidene chloride


The realization of long-term human organ preservation will have groundbreaking effects on the current practice of transplantation. Herein we present a new technique based on subzero nonfreezing preservation and extracorporeal machine perfusion that allows transplantation of rat livers preserved for up to four days, thereby tripling the viable preservation duration.

Concepts: Time, Liver, Organ, Organ transplant, Human anatomy, Gallbladder, Organs, Preservation


Butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) comprise significant portions of the world’s natural history collections, but a standardized tissue preservation protocol for molecular research is largely lacking. Lepidoptera have traditionally been spread on mounting boards to display wing patterns and colors, which are often important for species identification. Many molecular phylogenetic studies have used legs from pinned specimens as the primary source for DNA in order to preserve a morphological voucher, but the amount of available tissue is often limited. Preserving an entire specimen in a cryogenic freezer is ideal for DNA preservation, but without an easily accessible voucher it can make specimen identification, verification, and morphological work difficult. Here we present a procedure that creates accessible and easily visualized “wing vouchers” of individual Lepidoptera specimens, and preserves the remainder of the insect in a cryogenic freezer for molecular research. Wings are preserved in protective holders so that both dorsal and ventral patterns and colors can be easily viewed without further damage. Our wing vouchering system has been implemented at the University of Maryland (AToL Lep Collection) and the University of Florida (Florida Museum of Natural History, McGuire Center of Lepidoptera and Biodiversity), which are among two of the largest Lepidoptera molecular collections in the world.

Concepts: Insect, Order, Lepidoptera, Food preservation, Moth, Preservation, Butterfly, University of Florida


In 2012 Brazil’s National Congress altered the country’s Forest Code, decreasing various environmental protections in the set of regulations governing forests. This suggests consequences in increased deforestation and emissions of greenhouse gases and in decreased protection of fragile ecosystems. To ascertain the effects, a simulation was run to the year 2025 for the municipality (county) of Boca do Acre, Amazonas state, Brazil. A baseline scenario considered historical behavior (which did not respect the Forest Code), while two scenarios considered full compliance with the old Forest Code (Law 4771/1965) and the current Code (Law 12,651/2012) regarding the protection of “areas of permanent preservation” (APPs) along the edges of watercourses. The models were parameterized from satellite imagery and simulated using Dinamica-EGO software. Deforestation actors and processes in the municipality were observed in loco in 2012. Carbon emissions and loss of forest by 2025 were computed in the three simulation scenarios. There was a 10% difference in the loss of carbon stock and of forest between the scenarios with the two versions of the Forest Code. The baseline scenario showed the highest loss of carbon stocks and the highest increase in annual emissions. The greatest damage was caused by not protecting wetlands and riparian zones.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Wetland, Protection, Riparian zone, Brazil, Natural gas, Rainforest, Preservation