Ethidium Bromide

Robert Horton horton at
Thu Jun 10 14:18:57 EST 1993

Subject: Re: Ethidium Bromide mutagenesis
Newsgroups: bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts
References: <1993May6.145845.42883 at>
X-Newsreader: Tin 1.1 PL5

bickle at wrote:
: Since this (very thin) thread started, I've done a little reading in the
: subject. It turns out that EtBr is not mutagenic in the Ames test unless
: it is S100 activated, when it scores just above background.

So why all of the paranoia about EtBr? In our lab, we've ended up collecting
the stuff in jugs until the "to bleach or not to bleach" question is finally
settled. Is it really that dangerous? The Merck index lists its therapeutic
cat (vet) as an antihelminthic in sheep ("Mary had a little lamb/ Whose fleece
was orange and glowed...") but the way people treat it, you'd think it was
(gasp!) radioactive or somethin'. If they've been feeding it to sheep for
years in quantities large enough to kill worms, you'd think somebody would
actually KNOW if it causes leukemia or not by now. I haven't been able to find
much in the biomed literature (ok, I didn't look REAL hard); any NetWisdom
would be appreciated.

Bob Horton            /\ "Crash programs fail because of the theory that
U. of Minnesota, CBS  || with nine women pregnant you get a baby a month" 
1479 Gortner Ave.    /||\   -Werner von Braun.  Disclaimer:"Bob who?"
St. Paul, MN 55108    ^^   horton at 624-3790

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