BME b-mercapto & reduction

Dominic-Luc Webb molmed domweb at
Fri Jan 25 15:58:09 EST 2002

Many people use beta-mercaptoethanal for culturing tumor cell
lines. The smell is enough to tell me there is something odd
about this practice. I presume the purpose is to have a
reducing agent in the medium. So why not something more
physiological, like vitamin C? Anyone know where this
practice of adding BME to medium comes from and why?

I say this in part out of laughter. There are some studies
investigating use of implantation of BME-dependent cell lines
to treat diseases. I really would not like to have such cells
in my body. Is there any sanity in implanting such cells into



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