Ethidium bromide

Bruno Cenni bruno.removethis.cenni at
Wed Jul 18 01:12:08 EST 2001

...untreated sleeping sickness kills. And since there (still) are no really
good/safe drugs for its treatment, drugs that work in 90% of the patients
but lead to severe (ie deadly) complications in 10% are still used (that's
for melarsoprol an organo-arsenic compound, not EtBr). Now, if you're NOT
affected by sleeping sickness you may not want to take that risk...

We used EtBr to differentiate apoptotic/necrotic/live unfixed cells in the
microscope, those with an intact cell membrane won't stain with EtBr because
it's charged and won't enter...


"Roland Hubner" <roland.hubner at> wrote in message
news:3b544827$1 at
> In article
> <Pine.SGI.4.33.0107171248180.2437764-100000 at>,
> Michael Witty <mw132 at> wrote:
> > Does anyone have any medical or epidemiological data about people
> > sick from EtBr?  Especially at the concentration we use?
> >
> > Before I am howled down, I once went through an interesting experience
> > with a new safety officer who notice I was using sodium azide.  She
> > considered it to be "poisonous" and made me do some library research
> > on how to use it safely.  This is in spite of the fact that I and my
> > collegues had been using the stuff at 0.02% for decades.  I found out
> > that the "poisonous" sodium azide is not really good a poisoning people
> > at all (I found some medical papers on accidental ingestion of the
> > stuff, though it is a very bad local irritant).
> >
> > Can we say the same thing about EtBr ie that it is "safe" at the level
> > use it at?  Mike
> Hi Mike,
>  here somebody had pointed out earlier (without a ref) that EtBr was
> used in meat during the '50s..
>  see also
> "was used at one time to treat sleeping sickness in cattle and humans."
>  If sodium azide has been so well studied, I suspect that for EtBr
> (highly mutagenic to procaryotes! -- bacteria in Ames test etc.) some
> published work should be around, right?
>  Roland

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