Re: Gloves for F/S?

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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On Tue, 10 Nov 1998, Colin Henderson wrote:

> I don't understand the risk involved in cutting F/S
> without gloves. ...

> ... Hoping for some lively discussion

  Looks as if you've got it! My rather wordy 2 centsworth

  The only risks of cryostatting that I can see are

  1. Cutting your finger. The risk of this is surely higher
     with gloves, which make all movements clumsier.
  2. Bits of infected tissue getting in the cut. If this
     happens, it's more likely to happen if you've got
     gloves on.
  3. Bits of evil tissue attacking in other ways, such as
     getting inhaled or contacting skin with unidentified
     but permeable injuries. This might be a risk when
     cleaning out spilt trimmings etc from under the
     knife, but surely not while cutting. I've only used
     4 types of cryostat (Pearse-Slee, Bright, Leitz,
     and a nameless old thing that looked as if you'd
     buy ice creams from it, but containing an obliquely
     mounted (sloping backwards) rotary microtome.
       With all these it would be quite difficult to
     get your finger on the specimen or the part of the
     knife doing the cutting. A foot-long brush and various
     other ingenious long tools are needed. When catching
     a section onto a slide rather than a coverslip, it
     seems (to me) easiest to hold the slide in the hand,
     but it's well away from the block and the edge of the
     knife. There was a slight risk of catching your wrist
     on the corner of the long knife of the Pearse-Slee
     when reaching deep into its posterior parts to free
     up the oft seized mechanism of its horrible rocking
     microtome (an instrument I'm too young to have learned
     to love). I don't think gloves would stop that injury,
     and in any case the corner of the blade wouldn't have
     bits of tissue on it.

  Let the lively discussion continue!
                                       John Kiernan
                                       London, Canada.

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