Forensic Sci Int . 2005 Nov 10;154(1):53-61. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2004.11.017.



    • 1 Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. [email protected]
    • PMID: 16182949
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2004.11.017


    The extraction of DNA from archaeological or forensic skeletal remains can provide quite powerful data for analysis, but is plagued by a unique set of methodological problems. One of the most important methodological problems to overcome in such analyses is the presence of modern contamination on the surfaces of bones and teeth, which can lead to false positives and erroneous results unless it is removed before DNA extraction is initiated. Ancient DNA (aDNA) researchers and forensic scientists have employed a number of techniques to minimize such contamination. One such technique is the use of bleach (sodium hypochlorite--NaOCl) to "destroy" contaminating DNA. However, a consensus on the optimum concentration of sodium hypochlorite to be used and the amount of time the bone or tooth should be exposed to it has not emerged. The present study systematically approaches the issue by introducing contamination to ancient bones (from approximately 500 BP) and determining which of several sodium hypochlorite treatments best eliminates surface contamination. The elimination of surface contamination from bone requires immersion in at least 3.0% (w/v) sodium hypochlorite (approximately equal parts of commercial bleach and water) for at least 15 min. Endogenous DNA proved to be quite stable to even extreme sodium hypochlorite treatments (6% for 21 h), suggesting that DNA adsorbs to hydroxyapatite in the bone and that this process facilitates the preservation of DNA in ancient skeletal remains.

    Publication types

    • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

    MeSH terms

    • DNA / chemistry
    • DNA / isolation & purification*
    • Disinfectants / administration & dosage*
    • Forensic Anthropology / methods*
    • Fossils
    • Humans
    • Immersion
    • Polymerase Chain Reaction
    • Ribs / chemistry*
    • Sodium Hypochlorite / administration & dosage*
    • Time Factors
    • Tooth / chemistry


    • Disinfectants
    • DNA
    • Sodium Hypochlorite
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    Y-chromosomal haplogroups identified among the Serbs from Serbia and near countries are the following with respective percentages: I2a (36.6-42%), E1b1b (16.5-18.2%), R1a (14.9-15%), R1b (5-6%), I1 (1.5-7.6%), J2b (4.5-4.9%), J2a (4-4.5%), J1 (1-4.5%), G2a (1.5-5.8%), and several other uncommon haplogroups with lesser more
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    How do you get rid of toenail fungus with bleach?
    Bleach isn't a good method for treating or preventing toenail fungus. Bleach can burn the skin and shouldn't be applied (even in highly diluted amounts) unless a doctor recommends it. Fungus infections often require oral medications or specialized laser treatments. Even then, the infection can come back. more
    How do you get rid of mold on window sills without bleach?
    White Vinegar & Water: If you prefer to not use bleach, you can also try a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. more
    Why is bleach called bleach?
    The first title he came up with was Black, but as he explained in an interview, he felt that it was too simple a title, as was the inversion,"White." So, Kubo changed "White" to Bleach, referring to how he "bleached" the black clothes of the Reapers to give his new shonen manga an unexpected name. . more
    Can fire burn DNA?
    9 Often DNA and fingerprints are most likely to be destroyed at the origin of a fire where the temperature is greatest. However, studies have shown that saliva and fingerprints can be recovered from gasoline-petrol bombs after explosion. more


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