Little Known Museum Secret Could Lead To DNA Of Long-Extinct Species

There’s a little known secret kept in the storage rooms amid other dusty collections in our nation’s museums: we’ve saved hundreds of years worth the extinct specimens.

Most are kept suspended in jars of a liquid called formalin, which while great as a general preservative, damages the DNA by fragmenting it. Obviously, specimen collectors from a hundred years ago couldn’t have foreseen the future complication, but they were wise enough to create an extensive library of now-extinct species.