RE: [Histonet] t writing summary on honey as a fixative and othercomments

From:"Tony Henwood"

But how much of the preservation is due to alcohol in the processing of
the blocks to wax. It would be interesting to observe the central
shrinkage in tissues such as spleen and lymph node that often occurs in
underfixed tissue.


Tony Henwood JP, MSc, BAppSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC)
Laboratory Manager & Senior Scientist
The Children's Hospital at Westmead,
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145, AUSTRALIA.
Tel: 612 9845 3306
Fax: 612 9845 3318

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Morken,
Sent: Saturday, 23 September 2006 4:05 AM
Subject: [Histonet] t writing summary on honey as a fixative and

Honey for use for anything is a popular subject in the Arab peninsula
(one of the authors of this paper is of apparent Arab descent). In
Arabia honey is considered a food, a preservative for food and medical
substance used for treatment of various ailments. Some consider it a
practically magical elixer.  When I worked in Saudi Arabia our med tech
/ histotech students constantly wanted to do studies using honey for one
thing or another so when I saw this topic I instantly knew the impetus
for it. This current article may actually be informative if it is
considered in the context of preserving tissue for other uses, not
necessarily for high quality histology work. I know that is not the
authors intention, but research in one field often informs another field
without intending to. I do agree that the reviewers should have been
much more critical of the authors contention that the histology of
honey- vs formalin-fixed tissue is comparable (describe to what degree
it is comparable). It is obvious the pictures were chosen to prove their
point. For instance, the picture of a formalin-fixed rat kidney
glomerulus is the worst I have ever seen (tissue is badly distorted)
while the honey-fixed tissue is reasonable for gross structure. Even so,
it does show that honey does preserve tissue to a cetain degree which
may be useful for something. The fact a certain honey was used is
probably not too critical for this study, but honey from different areas
do have different chemicals in them depending on the flowers the nectar
came from. 

Tim Morken

I agree this paper is interesting it has us all talking about it. I have
my own bees and so does my neighbor and I can get plenty of spare
tissues so I think I'm going to repeat the experiment. I didn't have
much honey this year but I'll use next years and compare with local
honey and some purchased from the grocery store. I'll try some on
perfused rats and try some C.N.S. Tissues this should be fun. It will be
an interesting topic at the Maryland Beekeepers Meeting. I'll let
everyone know what happens. Ruth Yaskovich National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Pain and
Neurobiology Branch

On 9/21/06 4:50 PM, "Gayle Callis"  wrote:

> Dawn,
> Have your student contact the author of this publication for further
> discussion on this topic.  I also suggest your student access some of
> references cited in the publication - it would be a good exercise for
> a reference i.e. literature search to broaden their knowledge base.
> Although honey may not be an ideal formalin substitute and the honey
> from two species of bees found in Oman, I was intrigued by the topic
> how it was used in the paper and historically as a preservative and
> dehydrant in other parts of the world.    I found the publication
> and rather interesting that something like this can be done, maybe
> the better results of formalin fixation.  I also saw the poster at
2006 NSH
> S/C, where many were just as curious as I was honey as a formalin
> substitute, it was a popular poster to visit.
> If people are NOT happy with the publication as it is,  a letter to
the JOH
> editor would be in order and allow the authors to make further
comments on
> what points may have been not addressed as they may not be looking in
> Histonet to see current commentary or critique of their work.
> Gayle Callis
> Research Histopathology Supervisor
> Veterinary Molecular Biology
> Montana State University - Bozeman
> PO Box 173610
> Bozeman MT 59717-3610
> 406 994-6367
> 406 994-4303 (FAX)

Tim Morken
Product Development
Lab Vision - Neomarkers
47777 Warm Springs Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94539 USA

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