Provided by funds from the President’s Circle, the addition of the new ultra-cold freezer in the Angelo State Natural History Collection is pivotal to its growth and stability. When the ASNHC collects specimens or accepts donations, we are committing to preserve those resources for as long as possible in order that they may be available to future researchers.
In the modern emphasis for genetic and genomic research, tissues collections are extremely valuable, as well as extremely space-efficient. The new ultra-cold chest freezer is able to house 32,000-39,000 new tissue samples. At a constant “ultra-cold” temperature of -80°C (-112°F), these tissues will be viable nearly indefinitely. At such temperatures, cells encapsulating DNA will be protected from the formation of water crystals in the tissue sample.
ASU’s Natural History Collection serves the student body through undergraduate and graduate research, provides samples for molecular analysis in biology department classes and teaching specimens for organismal classes, and employs student workers and volunteers while providing hands-on experience in technical biological skills. The collections are also widely used in national and international research pursuits.