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Popular Questions

If you have forgotten your user name, you can call the toll free number (1.800.558.9595, select option 1) and the Phone Sales Rep will look it up for you. If you have your user name, but forgot your password, click on “Forgot Password?” on the Sign In window and enter your user name. Your password will be emailed to you shortly. Remember, your password is case sensitive (make sure your caps key is not locked).

First, make sure you have spelled your user name and/or password correctly. Also, remember that your password is case sensitive (make sure your caps key is not locked).

You can request a catalog or view and download a digital catalog on the Request a Catalog page.

Availability status presented on the website does not reflect Fort Atkinson Store availability. We suggest calling the store when in search of a specific product, at that time the store associates can inform you of quantities on hand. If the store does not have stock on hand, you may proceed by placing an order on the website or by phone.

You can find Safety Data Sheets under the resources tab of product in question.

You can contact our Customer Care team by calling toll-free (1.800.558.9595, select option 1), sending an email to [email protected].

Visit our Contact Us page for further details.

Shipping and Ordering Frequently Asked Questions

If you are sure the coupon is valid make sure you have entered it correctly, coupon codes are case sensitive. Do you have a discount quote number applied? Most often the two can not be used together. If your coupon is still not working, enter the coupon number in the “Comments” box when you check out, our customer care team will make sure it is applied to your order.

When checking out, you will have several methods of payment, including purchase order. You can find these options during Step 4: Payment Method, after you verify your billing and shipping information at the beginning of the checkout process.

You can use them on any Nasco order, including phone, website, fax, mail, or store. Simply give the card number and specify the dollar amount you want used toward the order.

If you have an online account: Log in and click on “My Account” > “Order History” found at the top of the screen. This will take you to your Order History page. Your most recent order appears first. Please allow up to one hour for new orders to appear on this page. To view the details of an order, click on the order number. This will display the status of your order in our Order Processing System. If the order has shipped, it will show the tracking details. Click on the tracking number of the carrier and it will take you to the carrier’s online tracking system.

If you do not have an account: Click on “Track Orders” found at the top of the screen. Enter your order number and email address. This will display the Order Details with the status of your order in our Order Processing System. If the order has shipped, it will show the tracking details. Click on the tracking number of the carrier and it will take you to the carrier’s online tracking system.

Terms are net 30 days with credit approval. Credit references may be required. Use Customer Checkout when ending order. Downloadable Nasco Credit Application PDF.

To apply your quote number to your online order, follow these steps:

  • View the details page of the product you would like to order
  • Find the “Discount Quote” field
  • Enter your 5 digit quote number (example:12345)
  • Click “Apply Quote” to see your discounted pricing
  • OR, apply it right in the cart!

Note: if your account has a quote number assigned to it, sign in to apply free standard shipping terms at the cart.

Customers shipping to Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin must add sales tax where applicable.

On existing tax exempt accounts with Nasco (exempt form on file) we will remove the tax and adjust the order total. See our Sales Tax Disclaimer page. Completed form can be faxed to 920.568.5714 or emailed to [email protected].

Documents can also be uploaded during checkout by clicking “I would like to upload tax certificate for tax exemption (Optional)” during Step 4: Payment Method.

We will ship your order the most economical way, unless you request a particular method of shipment. Air charges are additional. Most orders will be shipped using FedEx® or Parcel Post. Large parcels will be shipped by truck if they exceed the size limit for regular or small parcels or if regular methods of shipment would be too costly.

On the Cart page, you can enter the delivery zip code under “Estimated Shipping” and click Estimate. This will give you shipping charges for ground or air shipments. For Truck charges, call our Phone Order Department (1.800.558.9595, select option 1).

You can view our Shipping & Delivery page for further details.

Products in stock usually arrive in 3–5 working days.

To ensure live delivery, living material is shipped at the beginning of each week via an air method. You must specify the date you want your live material shipped. Weather could limit the shipping date upon our discretion. Some state restrictions may apply. Live delivery is guaranteed in the continental United States. Notify us of any problems within 48 hours of delivery.

Shipping rates depend upon order total and priority. You can view our Shipping & Delivery page for further details.

Return or exchange privileges are granted only upon request, and only on stock merchandise within 30 days of date of invoice. Restocking fees may apply. You may contact our Customer Care team by writing or calling toll-free 1.800.558.9595, use option 2.

Our website uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates from GeoTrust, the Internet standard for secure communications. All information which is passed is encrypted to assure your security and privacy. Click on the GeoTrust symbol on any page of our website for more information about our website security.

If you didn’t get the screen giving your order number after you submitted your order, log out, then log back in and click on “My Account.” Click on “Track Orders.” If your order went through, your order number will be shown here, along with the date ordered.

All Nasco video, DVD, and computer programs are available with a purchase order. We do not have preview copies. However, you have a 30-day period in which you may examine them. The programs will be billed to your account with the understanding that you may return them for full credit within 30 days, if they do not meet your requirements. Only one preview program per title can be returned. Multiple quantities of the same program are nonrefundable. No credit will be issued beyond the 30-day period from shipment of order. If you find you wish to return any of the items, you must repack them in their original packages and return them by insured parcel delivery (FedEx® or parcel post). Nasco will not issue credit for merchandise which is damaged in shipping or which is not suitable for resale because it is returned incomplete or abused.

Live Material Frequently Asked Questions

Nasco Policy

Nasco guarantees live delivery. Once the customer receives the live specimen, it is that customer’s responsibility to safely maintain the organism. If the organism is dead upon arrival, Nasco will either replace or credit (our choice). Any damage must be reported within 48 hours of receipt.

Nasco ships most live organisms via FedEx®. Most are shipped via FedEx® Next Day or FedEx® Second Day Air. We monitor national temperature trends on a daily basis and will select the best option for your destination and for the live specimens on your order.

That varies widely. It depends on where you are located, how hardy the organisms are, how large the shipping carton needs to be to protect them, and what kind of weather has been predicted. Most live shipments are comparatively lightweight, but considered “oversized” by the cargo service. The charges are “dimensionalized.” Air freight charges are calculated not only by weight, but also by how much space the carton takes up in the airplane cargo hold.

We ship live material Monday through Thursday, but aim for shipment early in the week if possible. We do not deliver on the weekends.

We cannot ship for Monday delivery. It is just unsafe for the living organisms to ship them over the weekend. The potential for hazardous delays is too great.

Basic instructions are included that tell you what to do with the organisms until class time. Customers should refer to their teacher’s guide or experimental protocol for detailed instructions. Information is also available at your library and on the Internet. Nasco also sells books concerning live material in the classroom.

Our Wisconsin laboratory produces most of our specimens (i.e. Xenopus frogs). Professional collectors throughout the country supply other animals (i.e. anoles lizards). The food industry also supplies some specimens (i.e. crayfish). All specimens are produced or collected in accordance with government rules and regulations.

Most are, but some specimens are seasonal by nature and only available at certain times of the year. All orders of live specimens are subject to availability at the time shipment is requested. Any items that are seasonal will have general comments about that in their description. Note, however, that every year is unique. Some supplies follow natural cycles, but all availability may be subject to events such as droughts, floods, excessive cold, or excessive heat.

Here is a very general list of seasonal live items. Time periods are approximate only. Weather conditions in the collecting area can affect the time period.

Available only when weather is cold:

  • Leopard Frog Rana (Lithobates) pipiens eggs (LM00904M) - available November through March (approximately).
  • Leopard Frog Rana (Lithobates) pipiens (LM00222M, LM00662M, LM00663M, LM00664M, LM00689M) - available late October through March (approximately).
  • Bess Beetles (LM00795(B)M) - available in winter months only, about November through March.
  • We will automatically substitute millipedes for out-of-season shipments.
  • Crayfish (LM00043M, LM00044M) - ship best when weather is cold. Usually available September through April.

These animals are found in warm climates and may not be available in extreme cold weather, so please plan accordingly:

  • “Chameleon” Lizards (Anolis carolinensis) (LM00229M)
  • Tree Hermit Crabs (Coenbita clypeatus) (LM00292M)
  • Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea) (LM00772M)
  • Mediterranean Gecko Lizards (Hemidactylus turcicus) (LM00773M)

No! Releasing classroom pets or surplus laboratory specimens into the wild may be prohibited by law in your state and, in all cases, is unethical. Once released into the wild, any of these unwanted plants or animals can have a negative impact on native species and ecosystems.

This can...

  • Introduce harmful pathogens and parasites
  • Increase competition with native, resident species for resources
  • Cause predation on native species
  • Cause degradation of native/resident animal population’s gene pools
  • Give the animal to another responsible teacher or classroom
  • Keep it as a classroom pet
  • Donate it to your local natural history museum or science center
  • Trade it in for alternative product at a responsible pet shop
  • If live material cannot be maintained with security in your classroom or laboratory, it should be humanely euthanized

Yes, Nasco can ship live specimens internationally. Each order request is handled on an individual basis. Extra permits needed. Some limits apply, country by country. Contact our International Sales Department.

Microorganisms

Microscopic organisms are sold in classes of 30. This means they contain enough organisms for typical classroom microscope activity for 30 students. Most jars of protozoa or algae contain hundreds, if not thousands, of individual organisms. It is the same for tubes of bacteria or fungi. You should have enough living material for a typical microscope activity for a class of 30 students. For slightly larger invertebrate organisms such as Planaria, Daphnia, or Hydra, animals are actually counted into their containers and will have 30, 60, or 120 specimens, as labeled.

They are generally in best condition the day you receive them. You should time your lab to use them as soon as possible after you receive them. However, many cultures can last for several days, or even weeks, if kept properly. After that, the microorganisms will run out of the food that was included in their shipping container. If you choose to keep the cultures going, you will need to subculture them into fresh growth media.

Nasco offers growth media: SB07568(LM)M Paramecium medium, SB07564(LM)M Amoeba medium, and SB07566(LM)M Euglena medium. These are only growth media. They do not contain live organisms, just necessary nutrients for them. You would need to inoculate them with live cultures to make more organisms.

It’s the law. Some cultures are more problematic than others. The list of government-restricted organisms continues to grow. It is more likely that a university laboratory will have the proper equipment and oversight to safely work with some bacteria than the typical high school classroom, let alone a home school situation or science fair project. Though none of Nasco’s bacterial cultures are pathogenic, ALL cultures should be handled with the same level of stringent laboratory hygiene. Any customer working with bacteria should be following established microbiology protocols and strict sanitary technique.

Prepared media has already been cooked, dispensed into tubes or plates, and then sterilized. It is ready to use. It should be kept refrigerated until use. Then all you need to do is inoculate with your bacteria sample.

Agar powder is the dehydrated form. It does not need to be refrigerated until you make it into the gel. Most agar is available in a dehydrated powdered form, though Nasco does offer several prepared gel types. When powdered agar is prepared, it resembles clear gelatin. Each type of bacteria or fungi has its own preferred food and optimal temperature. Customers should consult their experimental protocol or lab manual to determine what type they need.

To make agar powder into a gel, the agar is added to distilled water and cooked according to directions, placed into culture tubes or plates, then sterilized either in an autoclave or pressure cooker (15 lbs. pressure for 15 minutes). Once you have the agar in this useful gel form, it should be refrigerated. It is then best used within 2 to 4 weeks.

Most grow on either tryptic soy agar or nutrient agar.

Consult your experimental protocol or manual. Those guidelines should tell you what you need. Anyone working with bacteria or fungi should be following established microbiology guidelines.

Plain agar agar powder lacks nutrients. It is good for sprouting seeds and watching root development, but it contains no food to feed bacteria. It is not suitable for growing bacteria unless you add nutrients such as dextrose, beef extract, peptone, etc.

Bacterial cultures can be destroyed by autoclaving/sterilization (15 lbs. pressure for 15 minutes) or fill the inside of the culture tube with commercial bleach or isopropyl alcohol and soak for 15 minutes. Wrap in a plastic bag and dispose of it in a regular garbage receptacle.

Vertebrates

For Nasco, all of our live grassfrogs are Northern Leopard Frogs. For other biological supply companies, that may collect frogs elsewhere, their “grassfrogs” may be some other species. “Grassfrog” is a very general term that could be many varieties of the genus Rana, collected from many geographical locations. Our live frogs are collected in the Great Lakes area. The only live “grassfrogs” we carry are Rana (Lithobates) pipiens, also known as the Northern Leopard Frog.

Body only: tip of the nose to the end of the spine; measurement does NOT include the legs.

  • Xenopus laevis frogs (African Clawed Frogs) reach maturity at about 2 years of age. That equates to item LM00715M 7.5 cm to 9 cm males, and LM00535M or LM00531M 9+ cm females. Any frogs smaller than that are probably juveniles. They are not yet mature. Xenopus frogs can be bred any time of the year. These frogs are induced to breed by injecting them with a hormone - Human Chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
  • Xenopus tropicalis frogs (Silurian Frogs or Dwarf African Frogs) are reported to reach maturity at 6 months of age and that is the benchmark we use. This would be LM00822M Xenopus tropicalis males and LM00823M Xenopus tropicalis females. However, we find them more reproductively reliable after they reach 9+ months of age. Like Xenopus laevis frogs, Xenopus tropicalis can be bred any time of the year by using hormone injections with Human Chorionic gonadotropin.
  • Rana pipiens frogs (Northern Leopard Frogs) are field-collected and not reared in our lab, so we do not know their age. Mature sizes would be LM00664M 3"-3½" frog, LM00222M female, and LM00689M male. Through the winter months, we hold these animals under artificial hibernation in our facility. These frogs are seasonal, typically available from late autumn through late March. You can induce ovulation and conduct in vitro fertilization with mature animals in November through March. After that, these frogs enter their natural spawning period and are “off limits.” To induce ovulation during the winter months, you can use fresh pituitary glands extracted from “donor” frogs, or use Pituitary Extract, made specifically for Rana pipiens frogs.

Xenopus frogs are not native to this continent. They come from Africa. Some states have climates that closely resemble parts of Africa. There is a concern that if these Xenopus frogs escaped into the local environment, they would out-compete native amphibians for precious food and habitat. The following states require permits to import Xenopus frogs (this list is subject to change as state regulations change): Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington.

The LM00535M frog is a large, “virgin” female frog that has never ovulated. The LM00531M frog has been given an injection of HCG hormone to induce ovulation, thereby verifying functional ovaries. We then hold that pre-tested female for at least 4 weeks to allow time for her to rebuild stage 5 and some stage 6 oocytes in her ovaries. Then she is ready to ship.

Both animals are sexually mature Xenopus laevis frogs. Both have a high probability of producing eggs, however, due to variables beyond our control, Nasco cannot guarantee either quantity or quality of oocytes that any frog may contain in her ovaries.

Researchers that need stage 6 oocytes may want to order the untested female, LM00535M. She has never been ovulated and should hold her full allotment of oocytes. But because she has never shed her eggs, some may be over-ripe.

Researchers that want stage 5+ oocytes may want to order the pre-tested female, LM00531M. Because she ovulated recently, she may hold fewer eggs than an untested female. However, they should be new ones. She should have stage 5 and probably some stage 6 oocytes.

  • The Leopard Frog, Rana (Lithobates) pipiens - is a native of North America. It is an opportunistic scavenger when a tadpole and is found in freshwater ponds. It will metamorphose into a land predator that hunts and eats small insects and other VERTEBRATES in marshes and meadows. It is no longer totally aquatic. As a frog, it requires both land area and water area. It also requires live prey items. Food must move for the frog to identify a meal. You can feed them live redworms, crickets, fruit flies, etc. From the fertilized egg to metamorphosis takes about 3 months. This frog reaches sexual maturity at about 2 years of age. Natural breeding takes place in April. The animals breed once per year. In the lab, ovulation can be artificially induced one time during the winter months.
  • The African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) is a native of southern Africa. While a tadpole, it is a filter-feeding scavenger in freshwater ponds. It will metamorphose into a totally aquatic frog that scavenges for food particles. You can feed them dry food pellets such as Nasco Frog Brittle. From fertilized egg to metamorphosed frog takes 2 months. They take about two years to reach sexual maturity. In the wild, natural breeding can take place at any time of the year, whenever the rains come. In the lab, they can be induced to breed any month of the year. If properly maintained, they can be bred every 3 to 4 months.

It is federal law. Turtles cannot be shipped through normal means. They must be sent via airfreight and that is expensive.

Always use biologically sound water. If you choose to use municipal water, remove any chlorine or chloramine first. Many chlorine remover solutions are available. AmQuel® Water Conditioner (SB13232M) is a good one. Chlorine is fairly unstable and dissipates from the water. In the past, one just needed to aerate city water for 48 hours and the chlorine would disappear. Now many municipal water departments have switched to more stabile chloramine treatments. Chloramine does not dissipate readily and is very toxic to aquatic animals.

Maybe. But you might introduce unanticipated microorganisms to the project, including parasites.

You could add 1 unit of SA06355(LM)M Invertebrate Culture Solution Concentrate to 5 liters of your own distilled water to create 5 liters of buffered artificial spring water, or you could use bottled drinking water or bottled spring water.

Please allow 2 to 6 weeks for redemption. However, several other factors may also affect when we can ship:

  • If night time temperatures fall below freezing, either here or where you are, we may need to delay shipment. We monitor national weather trends and make shipping decisions accordingly.
  • If daytime temperatures exceed 83° F, either here or where you are, we may need to delay shipment.
  • We do not ship during weeks that contain a postal holiday. We have found the chance for hazardous delays is too great. It would be unsafe for the animals.
  • Are you located in a “restricted” state? Restricted states are: AK, AZ, CA, HI, KY, LA, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OR, UT, VA, and WA (this list subject to change). If you are located in any of these states, please plan your frog project for the winter months. Your state laws restrict which type of frog you can receive. The only frog eggs we can send to you are from the Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens), and those frogs only produce eggs during the winter time. We can only ship to you during the winter months of November through March. Please send your coupon to Nasco between November and the end of February. That gives us time to prepare and ship your animals before the end of March deadline. Note that Utah (UT), Hawaii (HI), and Alaska (AK) all have extra laws limiting animal shipment. We can’t ship ANY frogs to those three states, no matter what time of year. Sorry.
  • Restricted-state coupons received out of season, April through October, will be sent back to the customer. You can re-submit the coupon sometime during the winter months, when animals suitable for your area are available.
  • The final variable is the frog. Sometimes they produce eggs, sometimes they don’t. Ultimately, whether or not we have eggs any given week is up to the animals. They are a product of nature. They can be encouraged to produce eggs, but there is no guarantee that they will.

Preserved Material Frequently Asked Questions

Leave specimens in shipping bags/containers until use.

As long as the original container seal is unbroken, specimens will remain usable indefinitely. If the seal on the specimen bag has been broken during transit, the shelf life is affected only slightly. Just close the bag with a rubber band or some other type of closure. Keep tightly sealed. Exposure to air will not cause decay, but specimens will gradually dry out. Between classroom sessions, return specimens to tightly closed plastic bag or airtight container.

If specimens are to be dissected over an extended period of time, they can be remoistened with NASCO-Guard® Humectant Fluid (item numbers SB17218M, SB12631M, SB32395M, or SB32396M).

No, do NOT add water. Do NOT add formaldehyde or any other preservative to NASCO-Guard® specimens. Your specimens are completely preserved and the addition of water or other preservatives might have undesirable effects on the specimens.

Specimens may occasionally have an odor common to the animal itself (i.e. fish). Since there is no chemical odor, large capacity ventilation systems are not necessary when using NASCO-Guard® preserved materials. However, because specimens may have been originally fixed with formaldehyde or glutaraldehyde by some of our collectors, a trace may remain. Individuals who are sensitive to these chemicals should take the usual precautions when handling specimens.

NASCO-Guard® specimens are biodegradable. They are suited for burial in an approved sanitary landfill or for incineration. Ambient fluids may be safely disposed via city sewers.

Depending on the size of the shell, you can use a scalpel, hacksaw, or coping saw (item numbers SB15423M 5" bone-cutting shears or SB07832M 6" bone-cutting shears). A general classroom tool kit is also available from Nasco (item number 9703612).

Professional collectors provide some of the items (i.e. grasshoppers and earthworms). Some specimens are byproduct from stockyards (i.e. cow eyes, fetal pigs). Some are from the food industry (i.e. bullfrogs, perch). Cats are obtained from Humane Societies after euthanasia.

Nasco-Guard®

This is a unique, patented process for preserving specimens. Most NASCO-Guard® specimens are originally fixed in a 3.7% formaldehyde solution, which is still the best animal tissue fixative known. In the NASCO-Guard® process, skilled technicians remove the formaldehyde fixative in a series of water baths, then perfuse the specimens with propylene glycol until tissue fluids contain at least 25% glycol; this inhibits the growth of decay organisms by raising the osmotic pressure of the specimens. Propylene glycol also acts as a humectant to insure moist specimens, and it lowers the vapor pressure of residual formaldehyde, thus markedly reducing the concentration of formaldehyde fumes in the lab. Perfusion also washes away water-soluble carbohydrates and proteins, which could nourish decay organisms. Residual formaldehyde is further reduced as it reacts with propylene glycol to form hemiacetals and acetals, which have a very low order of toxicity. Large embalmed mammals may contain trace amounts of phenol.

  • Single injection – means the arteries have been injected with red latex.
  • Double injection – means the arteries have been injected with red latex and the veins have been injected with blue latex.
  • Triple injection – means red latex in the arteries, blue latex in the veins, plus the hepatic portal system has been injected with yellow latex.

Healthcare Frequently Asked Questions

IV Arms

No. The idea is not to let it sit for days on end without using it so the blood doesn’t dry up in the veins. If the arm is going to be used day after day, it is OK to keep the blood in the veins without flushing for a couple of weeks.

It depends on the gauge of needle used (the smaller the better), how many different sites are used (the more the better), and how high you hang the synthetic blood bag (the lower the better). It is also subjective because, eventually, the skin will show puncture marks and some teachers do not want any visual clues to find a good injection site. Most of our IV Arms have replaceable skin and veins.

When excessive leaking occurs even when the synthetic fluid bag is hung low. It is also subjective because, eventually, the skin will show puncture marks and some teachers do not want any visual clues to find a good injection site. Most of our IV Arms have replaceable skin and veins.

Miscellaneous

Yes. Most replacement parts can be found in your Instruction Manual.

There will probably be a metal serial tag somewhere on your product. It is often concealed. It could be in the shoulder of our IV Arms under the shoulder skin, in the back of the neck underneath the head skin on many of our manikins, or simply on the back or on the bottom of many products. We also now laser etch the information directly on the skin, in brown script, on many of our products.

Yes. Most replacement parts can be found in your Instruction Manual. Or call 1.800.431.4310 and be ready to give your manikin part number. We manufacture this product line, so almost any replacement component is available from Nasco.

Nothing. It is a difficult project at first, but we have employees at Nasco who can do it in about 30 seconds. One of our employees is featured in a video DVD available on product number LF01104. Also, the key thing to do is to heavily lubricate the inside and the OUTSIDE of the replacement skin.

Soap and water is fine if there are no electronics exposed. We recommend a mild dishwashing detergent – but not dishwasher detergent! Newsprint and most inks are hard to remove if they have been in place for any length of time. Nasco Cleaner (LF09919) is a specially formulated vinyl cleaner that works well with grime, too. For adhesive buildup from tapes and bandages, we recommend Glue-Off (LF01023) to remove old, hard adhesives on the surface of many of your Life/form® skins.

It depends on the storage conditions. It needs no refrigeration and can be stored at room temperature indefinitely. If an odor does somehow develop, the fluid reservoir bags and tubing should be discarded. There are preservatives in the powdered blood mixture and there have been no reported incidents of blood turning bad.

Nasco’s Life/form® products are latex free with the exception of our unique IV tubing. We have found that latex tubing provides the leak-free experience educators prefer. We also encapsulate the latex tubing in a plastic shrinkwrap application. Most of the tubing, if not all, is covered by nonlatex skins.

Call us at 1.800.431.4310 for any help you need.

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