RE: Manual or automatic staining

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Date:Wed, 14 Apr 1999 9:45:34 -0500
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These are just my own personal thoughts on this subject and do not necessarily reflect those of the company for which I work.
I feel that in the teaching process starting with the basics and being able to master the basics first is best....After that,  move on to differences between manual and automated staining and the  variables that can affect our staining.  Believe it or not, there are many labs who still do manual staining..  A good skill to know.  It depends on the needs and budgets of the individual lab. As an analogy to this..... Did you ever go to an ice skating show where you see a "clown" tripping and falling and acting as though they can't skate? Well as we all know they must first be proficient top notch skaters in order to act like buffoons on skates.... Maybe I'm from the old school, but the more that is understood and experienced  at the basic level the better we can understand and do at higher technological levels....


Sent:  Tuesday, April 13, 1999 8:09 PM
Subject:  Manual or automatic staining

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Small quick question for my learned colleagues. I am revising the
for a subject I teach called Histotechniques. This subject teaches the
basics of histology and techniques used in processing, microtomy and

My question relates to staining techniques. The theory covers quite
comprehensively the theoretical aspects of staining principles however
during the practical sessions, we ask the students to manual stain using
coplin jars. Each student has their own set of stains and 'experiments'
getting the H&E stain right for sections they have cut.

As workers at the coal face / prospective employers / future teachers
these students abandon their manual staining and revert to an automatic
alternative. Is automatic staining preparing them better for industry,
all I do test their staining 'troubleshooting' in assignments and exams.

Before the howls, I might add that in support of some arguments on this
listserv, I too feel that not enough attention is given to histology at
university level, and that many students 'hate' histology even before they
have completed their degree. I want to add more exciting things to my
(special stains, immunostaining etc .. I'll leave this for later posts).
is it better to move up to automatic staining, thereby using the students
limited time more efficiently to make room for more advanced material.

I would especially like to hear from Australian Histonetters.

Thanks in advance.

Todd L. Walker
Lecturer in Cytology / Histology
School of Biomedical Sciences
Charles Sturt University
PO Box 588
Wagga Wagga

Tel: 61 2 69332541
Fax: 61 2 69332587

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