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Alternative to ethidium bromide - cheap and stable (Mar/03/2009 )

Hi all,

We have been using ethidium bromide for agarose gel staning for years. Since our stock solution is running low and it's carcinogenic, we would like to seek for an alternative staning cchemistry which is cheap and stable. Any suggestions?


Lactolee

-lactolee-

lactolee on Mar 3 2009, 10:56 PM said:

Hi all,

We have been using ethidium bromide for agarose gel staning for years. Since our stock solution is running low and it's carcinogenic, we would like to seek for an alternative staning cchemistry which is cheap and stable. Any suggestions?


Lactolee


there are fluoresent dyes which can be added to the DNA loading dye, they are stable at room temperature

-Nrelo-

the sybr dyes. some are supposedly safe (some not).

by the way, etbr is a mutagen but not necessarily a carcinogen, the jury is still out but, anecdotely, it appears to be a lot safer than many think (also, check this).

-mdfenko-

mdfenko on Mar 4 2009, 11:35 PM said:

the sybr dyes. some are supposedly safe (some not).

by the way, etbr is a mutagen but not necessarily a carcinogen, the jury is still out but, anecdotely, it appears to be a lot safer than many think (also, check this).


Thanks for the facts. :o

-lactolee-

Thank you, mdfenko, for pointing this out. If you hadn't, I would have -- I've never understood the hysteria and misinformation surrounding EtBr. We're scientists, look at the empirical evidence -- if a substance used daily by multiple people in thousands of labs around the world for decades is so incredibly dangerous, where are the deaths, health effects, etc.?

There are whole threads here (well, there were pre-crash, anyway) where people came on the forums absolutely panicked about a slight exposure (e.g. a drop on their skin) to EtBr. I don't blame the poster -- they thought it was a dangerous as they've been told, so under those circumstances, panic is a natural reaction. But a fleeting external exposure to a drop is a long way from ingestion of 50,000 liters...

And industry is no help -- they *want* to perpetrate the notion that EtBr is dangerous so they can sell you "safe" alternatives.

It's the dihydrogen monoxide we really should be worried about...:wacko:

-HomeBrew-

Homebrew and mdfenko, once again you have done us a great service. Just a few hours after mdfenko's posting, one of the more excitable students at our neighbour institute went off the deep-end about EtBr "contamination". I am now waiting to hear their response to the EtBr page.

-swanny-

a bit off-topic, but hope close enough :) what is better to use for visualizing the Sybr Safe flourescence: UV-transilluminator or blue light-transilluminator? Can I get clear and intense enough bands with 302nm UV-transilluminator?




Thanks in advance :)

-lab_microbe-

I'm pretty sure that both will work well. I think the blue light transillumintors are a recent addition to make it even "safer", it was originally marketed as a replacement for EtBr with UV transillumination.

-bob1-

some people at our university use midori green, ...but although they say it has the sensitivity as EtBr ...it has not ...therefore we kept using EtBr because fragements in the range from 500-50 bp are hard to visualize withe midori green.

Regards,
p

-pDNA-