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Subject: Westinghouse research project

Westinghouse research project

From: Jessica S. Johnson <jsjohnson>
Date: Monday, May 1, 1995
This appeared on the Natural History Collections Mailing List I plan
to contact him separately and will inform him that I've forwarded
the message to the list).--Jessie

    Date: 28 Apr 95
    From: Gannon Wallach <71756.2416 [at] compuserve__com>
    Subject: Westinghouse Research Project

    I would like to let the list know about the research I am
    currently performing. This work is for the Westinghouse Science
    Talent Search and is under the direction of Dr. Alan Harvey of
    the American Museum of Natural History.

    I am investigating the formation of white crystal-like material
    on the legs and carapace of preserved crustaceans.  This
    material damages the specimen and may render it useless.  I
    intend to identify the composition of the substance, determine
    its origin, and propose a way to prevent its formation and
    possibly its safe removal.  My working hypothesis is that the
    material is a calcium mineral such as calcite that is imbedded
    in a protein or lipoprotein matrix.  I think the substance may
    be a leachate from the crustacean's cuticle.

    I am very eager to correspond with anyone that has an interest
    in this topic. In particular, as the American Museum seems to
    have been spared from serious contamination, hearing from people
    where this is a significant problem would be very helpful.  If
    possible I would like to make arrangements to obtain some
    specimens that are severely contaminated.  It would also be
    useful to know if collections of organisms other than decapods
    are suffering from this problem.

    Any opinions and suggestions are welcome.  If anyone has a
    particular interest I would be very glad to provide more details
    and a description of the work I have done so far.

    Thank you for your time any and assistance you may be able to
    provide.

    Gannon Wallach
    Staten Island Technical High School
    Staten Island, NY
    71756.2416 [at] compuserve__com

Jessica S. Johnson, Assistant Conservator
Materials Conservation Lab, Texas Memorial Museum
University of Texas at Austin
PRC #122, 10100 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758
512-471-6090
Fax: 512-471-6092

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:87
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 3, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-87-011
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 1 May, 1995

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