RE: staining times

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From:Brown Alexander <>
To:HistoNet <>
Date:Thu, 26 Aug 1999 18:18:00 +0100

Hi Ronnie,
	Hope all's well.  I would agree with you. There is a tendency for
inexperienced staff to regard staining manuals as 'gospel'. In my experience
most 'staining' methods do not travel well ( even within the relatively
small area of the UK ). Consequently most techniques will require a degree
of 'tweaking' and hence microscopic control at relevant stages. That's where
the art comes in ( to be controversial ) , the application of background
knowledge, of the scientific principles involved, to achieve the optimum
result. Once a technique has become established in your laboratory, then it
is appropriate to follow the given times in the protocol. Although the
sections should still be checked at appropriate stages for optimum staining
( routine H&E's excepted - let the machine take the strain ).
	Alex Brown
	Kilmarnock, Scotland.
From: Ronnie Houston
Subject: staining times
Date: Thursday, August 26, 1999 3:05PM

A recent question about the staining time of hematoxylin alludes to the
point of the recommended time in staining protocols.
This time is just that......that recommended by the author(s), but does not
reflect what is required for your own conditions. The microscope is the
ultimate control, and not what is written down in a cookbook-type method.
I have found that newer students to the profession tend to place too much
emphasis on exact staining times and not on microscopic control.

Just my observation, but would appreciate comments.

Ronnie Houston
Cytochemistry & Molecular Pathology
Texas Scottish rite Hospital for Children

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