[Histonet] Shiny side of a paraffin section

Tony Henwood (SCHN) tony.henwood <@t> health.nsw.gov.au
Wed Feb 29 16:27:33 CST 2012

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.

1.	It is easier to place sections on the water bath with the shiny surface down (MOST times).
2.	Staining-wise, for all stains that I have tried, it does not matter (H&E, PAS, Perl's Trichrome to name a few).
3.	When you are matching blocks and slides prior to slides leaving the lab, it is difficult to match "rebelliously collected shiny-side up sections" with the corresponding blocks.
4.	It is a favourite test of mine to have my staff and trainees look at two slides and tell me the reason for the difference (if there is any). My staff call it "Tony's Migraine Quiz" - one 'properly' collected section and the second a "rebelliously collected shiny-side up section".
4.	Microscopically, when comparing special stains with a H&E, it can drive you to distraction when microscopic features do not line up.

Tony Henwood JP, MSc, BAppSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC), FFSc(RCPA) 
Laboratory Manager & Senior Scientist 
Tel: 612 9845 3306 
Fax: 612 9845 3318 
the children's hospital at westmead
Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead NSW 2145, AUSTRALIA 

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Lucie Guernsey
Sent: Wednesday, 29 February 2012 10:56 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Shiny side of a paraffin section

As all of us who cut paraffin know, the underside of each section as it comes off the blade is shiny. I've always accepted it as a fact that the shiny side always goes down on the water bath, but I've begun to wonder why. Is there a specific reason why we're all taught to put the shiny side down? What would the difference be between a 'properly' collected section and a rebelliously collected shiny-side up section? Does it even matter?


Lucie Guernsey
UC San Diego
lguernsey <@t> ucsd.edu
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Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

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