Re: PTAH (phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin)

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From:Mick Rentsch <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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I agree, Natural is best; and like Grange, it gets better the older it gets.
I usually manage to use all mine in about 10-12years, and if it gets better
after this time I can't comment, but it does appear that the skills of the
Kaditcha or Shamman and a few incantations are required; because the best
batches I've made have only used technical grade PTA, and if anyone from
cyto or biochem touches that bottle they'll risk life and limb.
Mike (Downunder)
-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, 9 December 1998 3:42
Subject: PTAH (phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin)

>This old geezer hasn't seen one of those since he was a resident at Cornell
>Medical Center/New York Hospital thirty years ago!
>Mallory's phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin (PTAH) wasn't so much a stain as
>was a ritual. The purpose of the ritual was to give the pathologist a day
>think up a diagnosis for an unusual tumor, a function now performed by
>As I recall, hematoxylin powder was dissolved in aqueous PTA, and the
>then allowed to ripen spontaneously (i.e. with atmospheric oxygen) over
>several months. (Actually, a good batch of PTAH was older than its user.) I
>think the Moon had to be in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligned with
>but I'm on the road and don't have access to my Book of Shadows, though any
>good grimoire (such as Lillie or Luna) should provide the details.
>Zenker/Helly fixation was required, and postmordanting usually didn't work.
>But it was great for pathologic glia and for cross striations in skeletal
>Bob Richmond
>Samurai Pathologist
>Knoxville TN

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