[Histonet] Silly Question?

Merced Leiker leiker <@t> buffalo.edu
Fri Dec 12 09:12:28 CST 2008

In research lab situations particularly, one does not have the time or 
technique for nailing down the ways of making each of the buffers, 
reagents, and procedures work the "right" way or the most optimum way...a 
lot of times it's students or postdocs just focused on getting their 
project done and not caring how their fixative is made as long as it 
"works" to some degree and, alas, it's up to us already over-booked 
technicians to figure out the best way to make the PFA....and we usually 
don't have a whole day (week, or year) to spend researching the 
back-and-forth arguments, either! ;-)


--On Friday, December 12, 2008 2:04 PM +0000 "Edwards, R.E." 
<ree3 <@t> leicester.ac.uk> wrote:

> You  hit  the  nail on the  head  "That's what we always use", fear  of
> change  is a common human condition.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Pat
> Flannery Sent: 11 December 2008 16:59
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: [Histonet] Silly Question?
> Please humor me on this if it's obvious (to everyone but me):  why do
> we use paraformaldehyde (which is so inconvenient to make up) rather
> than buffered formalin or just diluted formaldehyde itself?
> It seems that around here, some folks prefer paraformaldehyde (either
> 2% or 4%) and others use formalin, while some others stick to diluted
> formaldehyde (I see all 4 on labels for specimens submitted for
> histology).  Is it mostly a matter of personal preference or where you
> were trained (i.e. force of habit) or is there a valid reason to use
> each solution (basically the same chemical once in solution, merely
> buffered or not)?  The only answer I've gotten when I've asked is,
> "That's what we always use."
> Thanks.
> -Pat Flannery (not a "real" histologist - I just play one in the lab)
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Merced M Leiker
Research Technician II
354 BRB (pkgs) / 140 Farber Hall (letters)
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
State University of New York at Buffalo
3435 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214
Ph: (716) 829-6033
Fx: (716) 829-2725

"Without my flaws I'm really very boring."
- random internet blog commentator

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