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Stable Isotope Geochemistry

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Subject:
From:
Tamsin O'Connell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Stable Isotope Geochemistry <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 26 Feb 2004 13:06:30 +0000
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Dear Ramon,
We routinely clean feathers using a simple protocol modified from that we
use to clean human hair samples. We have had good results for this for
analysis of d13C, d15N and dD

The method, taken from Jenny Birchall's 2002 DPhil thesis:
1.      Samples of feather or fur were cleaned of surface oils by
ultrasonicating in 2:1 methanol: chloroform for 30 minutes. This was
repeated three times with fresh solvent.
2.      Samples were then ultrasonicated in distilled and deionised water
for 30 minutes, repeating a minimum of three times until no solvent smell
remained.
3.      Samples were freeze dried and ready for isotopic analysis.

best wishes,
Tamsin

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, Ramón Redondo wrote:

> Dear collegues,
> We are going to analyze d 13C and d 15N in feathers of birds. We have being
> searching through the literature a standardized method to treat the samples
> prior to the analysis (washing with NaOH, chloroform or detergents,
> grounding, etc) but we haven’t found agreement.
> I would prefer do not pretreat the sample chemically. Why do you think is
> necessary to clean the feathers before the analysis?. Many thanks for the
> suggestions.
>
> Ramón Redondo
> Laboratorio de Isótopos Estables
> Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Spain.
> Tel. 34 914974898
>
-----------------------------------
Dr Tamsin O'Connell
Research Laboratory for Archaeology
University of Oxford
6 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, UK
tel:01865-283641
fax:01865-273932
[log in to unmask]
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