alternatives to ethidium bromide

Ian Harvey i.j.harvey at
Tue Jul 4 10:26:37 EST 2000

Vasos Panagiotopoulos +1-917-287-8087 Bioengineer-Financier
<vjp2 at> wrote in message
news:slrn8lutmq.a4n.vjp2 at
>   One of my clients who felt  the clock ticking on his career decided
> to skip  most EtBr safety precautions. When  I freaked out, he  said that
> skin  is  mostly  dead  tissue  and  short-term  contact  with  EtBr  was
> over-exaggerated risk. That  was five years ago, and  despite my doubts
> his ..actions,  he hasn't developed  anything. Please don't follow  his
> but perhaps someone might wish to discuss his comments.

I've stopped using EtBr more to avoid the sunburn than for any other reason
(I use SYBR Green and a blue transilluminator).  For occasional amusement I
carry an unstained agarose gel around the department just for the reaction
from the safety officers.  One of them ALWAYS takes two steps backwards and
almost screams.  The blue illuminator usually gets good reactions from
people who are used to the concept that transilluminators make you go blind.

The combination does seem to help with cloning fragments isolated from gels.

Other than that I've got to agree with the poster who advocates good
practice as protection for others.


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