MARINE GRINDING AND EXTRACTION
Marine specimens, most of which come from the South Pacific were quickly frozen on board the ship and are air freighted to Frederick on dry ice, then at -20 deg until processed. Frozen specimens are broken into chunks with a hammer and chisel, then mixed with dry ice. We have found that most marine specimens, when chilled to dry ice temperature, become brittle, and so can be finely ground using a Hobart hamburger grinder, just like a grocery store uses. Since grinding is done while frozen, the rapid decomposition and odor often encountered with marine organisms is avoided. After the dry ice sublimes, (3 days storage at the -20 deg.) the finely ground sample is mixed with high purity water, mechanically stirred to create a uniform aqueous slurry, and dumped into a basket rotor in a centrifuge, where particulates are trapped on filter paper, and the water soluble molecules pass through and are collected in a flask. Both aqueous soluble and particulate portions are lyophilized. The dry particulates are then weighed and extracted with dichloromethane/methanol (1:1) , followed by methanol, to produce an organic extract.
This graph shows the number of marine organisms extracted per year between 1987-2011. In 2011 1200 marine animals and 300 marine plants were extracted.
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