Pictures Document the DOI/Corps' C14 Process
These pictures show the "sampling" of a tibia fragment used for C14 tests. A whole finger bone was also cut into two pieces for tests. The total amount of bone taken for C14 tests exceeded 30 grams. In April 2000, more bone was taken for DNA tests. The plaintiff scientists asked for a total of 4 grams to do all their tests.
DOI/Corps hired a graduate student employed by King County Medical Examiner's Office to extract the samples.
The sampled piece (after it was cut) weighed 12 grams. More than a gram of bone 'dust' was created during the process. The dust was put in a plastic bag and returned to the collection.
The sample was taken from one piece of a reconstructable tibia (in 3 pieces). Reconstruction was not allowed as the DOI/Corps stated it might damage the bone. The available pieces of the other tibia do not yield a complete bone.
The cut was made along a longitudinal crack (with dirt adhering to the surfaces inside the crack). The DOI/Corps reported concern that the fragment would split if an area with denser bone were sampled. Unfortunately bone was removed from an area with an osteological landmark, a nutrient foramen, so diameter and circumference measurements are no longer available..
Three laboratories, the University of California Riverside, Beta Analytical, and the Unversity of Arizona conducted the C14 tests. Stafford Laboratories, Boulder CO, withdrew because the DOI/Corps refused to permit microsampling to test the adequacy of the protein collagen before taking any samples.
C14 tests at two labs revealed insufficient collagen. The third lab obtained a C14 date that exactly matched the original C14 date obtained by UC Riverside in 1996 on a different bone.
Despite the lack of protein collagen, more samples of this tibia fragment were taken for DNA tests in April 2000. These tests yielded no DNA results.
Dr. Owsley concluded "The left proximal tibia was an inappropriate choice that was sampled in an unjustifiable location."
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