Fw: Bootleg Phosphomolybdic time?

From:Ian Montgomery

        I'll leave questions 1 & 2 for Russ.
3.) Electron microscopy - yes. I suppose I should come clean on what it is I'm actually using. When I first tried negative staining back in the early 1970's my first efforts were pretty abysmal. So, I contacted a lovely young girl in the University's Virology department who agreed to introduce me to the technique. Being a naive beginner I thought PTA was tungstophosphoric acid rather than potassium tungstophosphate. After this training I bought, at the suggestion of the lythe limbed young sybarite, a small bottle of both the sodium and potassium salts. Since then I have been using, when called upon, the sodium salt (STA) as I find it to be the better stain, in my hands. Over the years since I tried other batches of the sodium salt but none has been quite as good as my original bottle so I just keep it and only make small amounts of the stain. Although I use the generic term, phosphotungstic acid, I'm really using sodium tungstophosphate.

        I suppose we're all guilty of this lax use of chemical nomenclature. Fortunately, my techniques book and formulary make it quite clear what salt I actually use. My humble apologies for this confusion.

> Good Morning Gentlemen!
> I followed your recent brief Histonet exchange concerning phosphomolybdic
acid. I wonder if I might ask some questions, since I am curious!
> 1) What is it that happens to PMA that makes it "age"?
> 2) Russ, what neuro procedure did you use it on?
> 3) Dr Montgomery, you mention "Brilliant for negative staining of virus
particles" for phosphotungstic acid, I take it that is for electron
microscopy, right?
> 4) I looked in our Sigma Aldrich catalogue. PMA costs about $460 for 600
grams, not too different for your cost. I was wondering if I could buy it
cheap here and sell it in the UK! Won't work with that price!
> Thank you
> Mike Titford
> USA Pathology
> Mobile AL USA

Dr. Ian Montgomery,
Graham Kerr Building,
Institute of Biomedical & Life Sciences,
University of Glasgow,
G12 8QQ.
Tel: 0141 339 8855
Office: 4652
Lab: 6644.
Pager: 07625 702883
e-mail: ian.montgomery@bio.gla.ac.uk

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