RE: [Histonet] microtomy technical question

From:"Monson, Frederick "

I never respond without an answer from outside the bag, so to speak.

1.  I once was quite ill (at the age of 40) and received the news that
my CBC required a bone marrow follow up.  I asked if the differential
was at fault and heard a 'Yes'.  I asked if the differential was
performed manually.  The answer was 'No'.  I demanded a manual
differential.  The bone marrow was cancelled.  Don't trust machines too
far is one of my life lessons.

2.  I never had to use watered or iced paraffin blocks BEFORE I was
required by volume to process tissues in an auto processor.  Prior to
using auto, I had very early on learned the consequences of
over-dehydrating, over-clearing and especially overcooking my specimens
and avoided doing so.  Now with so many 110V AC lines measuring 128V AC
or <110V AC on occasion (the latter does no harm to the tissue but
lengthen the times in each bath), why is there a question about problems
with the outcomes?

3.  For my SEM, I have a $5,600 Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) that
regulates the AC to within the specs of my instrument so that I am not
at the mercy of PECO - our local supplier - when I run long-duration
automated analyses.

Most institutions are treated by the power companies as industrial
customers.  The consequence is that power fluctuations are much more
frequent.  Industry compensates by investing in regulation wherever it
is required.  Institutions, on the other hand, are often ignorant of how
much or little power fluctuations affect performance in various
organizational modules - like laboratories in which analyses are
performed.  One will not see the difference between 128 and 108 in the
performance of the coffee maker.  Overnight, no one is watching and

Hope this helps,

Fred Monson

Frederick C. Monson, PhD
Technical Director
Microanalysis and Imaging Research and Training Center (MIRTC)
Large Scientific Instrument Core
Geology, West Chester University
S. Church St. and W. Rosedale Ave.
West Chester, PA, 19320
New Scheduler:
Web Page:


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Eva C
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 4:32 PM
Subject: [Histonet] microtomy technical question

Hello everyone,
I have some questions regarding microtomy. 
We place our blocks face down on ice. The problem is that some tissues
take a very long time before they are ready to be cut(some more than 6
hours). For some tissues like kidney samples (mouse tissue) we have been
using glycerol on the ice. This does seem to cut down on the time
needed. My question is which other tissues can I use this technique on?
Do you have any other suggestions for how to get the tissue hydrated for
Thank you for your help,
Eva Permaul
Georgetown University

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