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In medicine, a laboratory specimen is a biological specimen taken by sampling, that is, gathered matter of a medical patient's tissue, fluid, or other material derived from the patient used for laboratory analysis to assist differential diagnosis or staging of a disease process. Common examples include throat swabs, sputum, urine, blood, surgical drain fluids, tissue biopsies, etc.
In zoology, a laboratory specimen is a sample of a species which is preserved and made available to researchers for elucidating the structure, general appearance, various organs, and details related to the specimen's body.
A specimen can also refer to a sample of any other substance taken by sampling, for example - soil, air, chemicals, entire living creatures, or anything else which can be studied to represent a whole entity.
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