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Green is the new red

StainIN Green from start-up HiQu is set to replace the infamous and potentially mutagenic red dye ethidium bromide - which should see nucleic acids in labs everywhere changing hue from the usual red to a fresh green.

09 May. 2017

Besides enjoying a vivid new color, scientists can also look forward to lower health risks (as shown in an Ames test for carcinogenicity). StainIN Green is just as easy to work with as ethidium bromide and, according to its makers HiQu, is also four times more sensitive. StainIn Green performs well against other - green - rivals, being twice as productive and also detecting the presence of barely more than 0.1 ng DNA in both agarose and polyacrylamide gels. What's more, because StainIN Green can be used for tagging directly in the gel, it eliminates the need to dye the gel after the run and remove the dye in another step.

StainIN Green binds with both double- and single-strand DNA, tagging it with a green fluorescence. RNA is also bound by the dye, a unique property of the dye being that this is tagged with a red fluorescence that can be detected using UV light, blue light or even the same filters used for the green fluorescence. As the dye is harmless to users and also does less damage to tagged DNA, its developers say this makes it ideal for detecting DNA that is destined for subsequent cloning. And if, despite all that, some scientists still want the DNA in their gel to be red, HiQu has a solution - StainIN Red. This red fluorescent dye with a detection limit of > 0.3 ng DNA is still twice as sensitive as ethidium bromide, and produces bands that can be detected as usual under UV light with the same filters, but without the dreaded risk of mutagenic activity.

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