alternatives to ethidium bromide

Ian Harvey i.j.harvey at
Sat Jul 15 09:50:20 EST 2000

Marc <mlamphier at> wrote in message
news:KmS85.12807$DJ2.45599 at
> sounds cool. But I thought SYBR Green was Ames positive........

Thats why I said an unstained gel.  Everyone here uses EtBr in the gel
before running so there's an automatic assumtion that gels are nasty.
> I can recall the bad old days in grad school when I would stare at my
> in the gel or carefully excise 12 bands while sitting in front of the UV
> light. One day I looked in the mirror and noticed I was sunburned. I
> couldn't figure it out. It was winter and I hadn't even been skiing.
> It wasn't until my 2nd year in grad school that I figured out that my
> ligations and transformation efficiencies could improve dramatically by
> limiting the amount of time I let the gel sit on the UV transilluminator.
> By the way, what is a "blue transilluminator" ?

A Transilluminator that only gives out blue light.  You can see the SYBR
dyes very clearly with an orange filter and it doesn't nick DNA.  (It also
doesn't give you sunburn or cause sight problems).  We've also got the
darkreader gel tank mounted in a darkbox with a gel doc system.  I run the
gel in the darkbox until the bands are resolved on screen and the take the
picture.  Works beatifully.


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