Re: Curious about Sirius

From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>

On Mon, 13 Nov 2000 wrote:

> I recently inquired about the Sirius red stain for collagen and was able to 
> do the stain with great results. I am curious where the name Sirius came 
> from? Anybody know? 

 Some erudite replies have already been posted about the 
 brightest star and how it got its name.

 From perusal of the Colour Index and books about dyes it
 seems that Sirius was a trade name of Bayer AG, the German
 mega-corporation, starting in the 1890s (? earlier) and
 continuing (I could be out by a few years) to this day.    
 The word "sirius" is used for dyes in different chemical
 classes and for dyes in various application classes. 

 In this respect, sirius resembles the "Alexa" trademark of 
 Molecular Probes Inc. This seems to be the name the M.P.
 company attaches to what it considers the best (at the time
 of advertising) fluorophores made and tested by the firm,
 for a wide variety of fluorescent probes. The Alexa name
 is applied to a variety of fluorophores, just as there are 
 Sirius dyes with chromophores ranging from azo to phthalocyanine.

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

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