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Malacology Department

Collection Policies

Destructive Sampling Policy

Permission must be granted before any of the following procedures are performed on MCZ specimens: dissection; preparation for SEM photography; making permanent microscopic slides; DNA analysis; clearing & staining; any other destructive procedure.In order to balance the need to preserve specimens for future use with the need to conduct appropriate research, the following guidelines will be used in making decisions about use of MCZ specimens:

  1. The term "destructive sampling" applies to any procedure done with an MCZ specimen that results in the alteration of the condition of the specimen. This includes dissections, SEM preparations, DNA analysis, mounting or remounting of specimens on microscope slides, clearing or staining, removal of parasites or commensals.
  2. All requests for destructive sampling will be made in writing, and will contain the following information: a) What specimens are needed. b) What will be done to the specimens. c) How it will be done. d) Why it is necessary.
  3. During any destructive procedure, as much of the specimen as possible will be kept in the original condition.
  4. Any material remaining after the analysis will be returned to the MCZ. This includes:
    1. The specimens and all dissected parts. Detached parts should be housed in microvials or other appropriate containers, and included in the container with the dissected specimen. Care should be taken that the separate vial does not damage other specimens in the container.
    2. SEM stubs.
    3. For specimens used in DNA analysis, the samples must be kept in appropriate DNA storage facilities, and the MCZ will be informed of the location of the samples. When the MCZ obtains its own DNA storage facilities, the samples will be returned to the Museum.
  5. Specimens mounted or remounted on microscope slides should be labeled with specimen data. The date, mounting medium, and name of person mounting the specimen should be recorded on the slide. All original slide labels should be preserved and placed on the new slide.
  6. Decisions to grant or not grant permission for destructive sampling will be based on:
    1. Uniqueness of the specimen. Any procedure that will destroy either holotypes, or specimens of endangered species, will be denied.
    2. Degree of destruction.
    3. Significance of research.