mineral oil vs halocarbon

Leon Avery leon at eatworms.swmed.edu
Wed Oct 15 10:47:40 EST 1997

> Dear Worm People,
> Here is a summary of responses I got to my request for sources of
> halocarbon oil
> for microinjection. Basically, people get it from Sigma or Halocarbon
> Products Corp.
> HOWEVER, the most interesting reply is from Curtis Loer. He's using heavy
> mineral oil
> instead of halocarbon oil, and apparently it works fine. And the mineral
> oil is $3.70, as
> compared with $50-$84 for comparable amounts of halocarbon oil! I thought
> there was
> supposed to be something magical about the halocarbon oil, like that the
> worms could
> breathe / get oxygen through it (?) Why are we using it? Is it just
> because the
> fly people use it? And why are they using it? I would appreciate anyone's
> comments
> about this. Some people were suggesting that Tritech try to buy a larger
> supply
> of halocarbon oil and sell it to the labs cheaper, but if mineral oil
> works, we could
> pretty much give that away, especially in the box when people get our
> microINJECTOR.
> It always fascinates me when dogma bites the dust. Is this the case w/
> halocarbon oil?

We used (light) mineral oil for a year or two after I arrived in
Dallas in 1990.  Stuart Kim suggested the halocarbon oil, we got some,
and we tried both for a while, and eventually went to using halocarbon
oil exclusively.  I think the higher viscosity was the main advantage,
so heavy mineral oil might work as well.  I wasn't much interested in
investigating, since we are still working on the same bottle of
halocarbon oil we got back in 1991.  Halocarbon oil may be expensive
in relative terms, but in the global scheme of things it's not

Leon Avery                                       (214) 648-4931 (voice)
Department of Molecular Biology and Oncology              -1488 (fax)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
5323 Harry Hines Blvd                            leon at eatworms.swmed.edu
Dallas, TX  75235-9148                  http://eatworms.swmed.edu/~leon/

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