Whoops, EthBr all over the shop...

Bernard Murray bernard at elsie.nci.nih.gov
Tue Dec 19 00:02:34 EST 1995

For the sake of balance....

Ethidium bromide has been demonstrated to be weakly mutagenic in
prokaryotic assays (the Ames/Salmonella assay and the SOS chromotest).

So have many other compounds that are proven non-carcinogens.

To my knowledge ethidium bromide has never been demonstrated as
carcinogenic in animals (let alone humans).

Ethidium bromide has found use in veterinary medicine at the mg/kg dose.

The Merck index even describes it as "bitter tasting" (!).

So, I'd suggest informed care in its use rather than total paranoia.
(Why do people work "happily" with mCi amounts of 32P yet freak out with
ethidium bromide?)  If you really want to protect your genes/jeans then
stay away from cigarette smoke, saccharin, NutraSweet, hair colouring,
ozone, diesel fumes, photocopier toner, UV light, oxygen.....

	....or "in DNA repair enzymes we trust"

	roll on the next "in vogue" mutagen

	Nollaig shona duit agus athbhlian faoi mhaise duit!


Bernard Murray, Ph.D.
bernard at elsie.nci.nih.gov  (National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda MD, USA)

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