SV: Alternatives to EtBr

Dag Rune Gjellesvik dagrg at
Thu Dec 13 07:22:55 EST 2001

"Bruno Cenni" <bruno.removethis.cenni at> skrev i melding
news:3c15f3da$1 at
> This aspect of EtBr has been discussed here every now and then. Although I
> am one of those believing that since EtBr does not enter living cells (at
> mg/ml conc.) it won't harm living people except if they'd eat grams of it,
> still would like to avoid unnecessary biohazards (and disposal thereof) in
> the lab. So if there were a simple, not too expensive alternative, why
> to EtBr?

During my master I used to treat L-929 cells with microg/ml quantities of
EtBr. The cell pellets were clearly stained red in vis light. The cells
obviously concentrated EtBr, and the compound had a significant effect on
polysome profiles and the RNP I was studying at that time.

So - it most probably enters cells. Probably skin, too - I''ve seen spills
on skin that gives a bright fluorescence still after extensive washing.

Dag Rune Gjellesvik
Biotec ASA
Tromso, Norway

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