1. I do have a reference for chloral hydrate phenol. Jarray. 1937. J.
Roy. Microsc. soc. London. 57. p 15.
This is listed in Grays Formulary and Guide and he also lists some other
general methods for chitin softening. Some of these a little drastic
such as boiling in solution of sodium hypochlorite.
2. In answer to Tom Clarke's comments, Slifer and King 1933 used a
mixture of 20 parts water, 80 parts 95% alcohol, 4 gms phenol (again
I have used an aqueous solution similar to this and as mentioned before
this did work some but not as well as chloral hydrate: phenol mixture.
3. While tetrahydrofuran probably works well it is a really nasty
chemical. Skin absorption etc.
I think its in the "fine if you use it but don't expect me to use it"
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