Re: Smith's fixative

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>
Date:Thu, 24 Jun 1999 14:16:03 -0400 (EDT)
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Thu, 24 Jun 1999, Gayle Callis wrote:

> Could you give recipe for Smith's, not familiar with this one.

    The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide (P. Gray 1954)
    has 5 different Smith's fixatives in it. Humason's
    (5th edn) has one of these: a dichromate-formalin-acetic 
    mixture recommended for yolk-rich material. (In Gray
    it's also for amphibian embryos.) This would be an
    unstable mixture, even more so than Helly's. I'd expect
    it to penetrate poorly and give good nuclei (including 
    mitoses & spindles), and poor cytoplasm. 

    Of course, there could be any number of fixatives with
    a common name like Smith. They represent one kind of failure 
    in the system of eponymous naming. Another arises with ones 
    like Carnoy and Tellyesczky, where each individual described
    at least 2 different fixatives.

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

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