supravital staining

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Paul Millikin in Peoria IL notes:

>>Supravital staining means putting a small drop of blood on a stained slide
and adding a coverslip, then waiting for a few minutes for the living white
cells to take up the stain. ... I use slides dipped in 0.25-0.5% toluidine
blue (in absolute ethanol) and then dried on end at 60 degrees C.<<

In the early 1960's when I was a medical student at Washington University in
St. Louis (now the home of the Coenorhabditis elegans genome!) the
hematologists, under the direction of the formidable Virginia Minnich, used a
supravital stain for peripheral blood, using neutral red and malachite green
and apochromatic lenses and a fair amount of mystery and mumbo-jumbo. Their
differential counts always differed from the Wright-Giemsa results, and of
course (by definition) were always right. I've never heard of this technique
again, and I have no idea of its details.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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