alternatives to ethidium bromide

lamphier at lamphier at
Thu Jun 29 16:15:58 EST 2000

If you turn off the lights and walk around the typical molecular biology
lab with a hand-held UV light you may find stains in all sorts of
interesting places you didn't know about. I've seen glowing doorknobs
and sink handles, and bright orange splotches on people's chairs. Try it
someday in your own lab.....

I am trying to enhance the environmental safety of my lab here and want
to look in to alternatives to ethidium bromide for routine DNA staining
in gels, etc. I know that some of the Molecular Probes Inc. SYBR stains
are more sensitive than ethidium bromide and less mutagenic, but not
non-mutagenic. I am just starting to research this subject now, but I
thought I would ask first if anyone has some experience with safer
stains for DNA that can be used in routine gels and other lab work?

I am also interested in methods for decontaminating EthBr from lab
equipment. we used to use bleach in the good old days, but I recall some
article about how the products of the bleach oxidation of ethidium
bromide are still mutagenic, but now colorless and undetectable. Are
there newer proven methods of EthBr decontamination? (as you might tell,
I am just returning to the bench after a couple of years doing work in
front of a computer)



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