Document Type

Brief Communication


The development of recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to examine heritable variation directly at the DNA sequence level. However, incorporating these techniques and methods in anthropologic field studies still presents several logistic problems and concerns, starting with the possible negative effects of storage and transport on the requisite blood samples. In this regard, though, the successful extraction and analysis of DNA from tissues thousands of years old is encouraging and suggests that such problems may be overcome (Paabo 1985; Paabo et al. 1988). Nonetheless, more data on the quality and quantity of DNA extracted from whole blood samples obtained from living individuals and handled under field conditions are needed.

Here we report the findings of an initial experiment designed to simulate best, worst, and indifferent treatment of blood samples. High-molecular-weight genomic DNA was extracted from the samples following storage, its quantity measured, and its quality assessed by electrophoresis and hybridization of restriction fragments.