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Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

Postby bhylak » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:32 pm

Hello!

I am trying to stain bacteria, and I started out using the Gram stain but I was using to much materials so I am trying to find stuff to stain bacteria that can be bought at a Grocery store or Walmart. If methylene blue would be a lot better then Brilliant Blue FCF then I could use that.
I think you could methylene blue at a Pet Store right? (Aquatics)

Thanks for everything!
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Re: Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

Postby billw » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:51 am

Brilliant Blue FCF is FD&C Blue #1, so if you are in the US, you should be able to get it as food coloring at the grocery store. As you noted, Methylene Blue is available as a disease treatment for aquarium fish, but I am not certain if the concentration is useful for staining - I've never tried it.

Either should be suitable for non-differential staining of bacteria.

If you need to Gram Stain, I think you really need to use Crystal Violet counterstained with either Safranin or Fuschin, although I've never had to scrounge for materials, so I could be wrong. I can't think of any commonly available preparations of these dyes.
http://microbiology101.com/
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Re: Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

Postby bhylak » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:03 am

Thanks... but I was wondering if it works well. So the methylene blue can be bought at walamart. And which would would work better?
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Postby jwalin » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:32 pm

/:quote
If you need to Gram Stain, I think you really need to use Crystal Violet counterstained with either Safranin or Fuschin,
quote:/:

do that
that's more easier. and it works well
it isn't what you do that matters but it is how you do it
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Re: Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

Postby bhylak » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:19 am

Well, I need to be able to buy the stuff at Walmart! :) I don't think that is available at Walmart.
That is my whole theme. Not enough time to order it online. I ttried Gram Staining with Crystal Violet and Safrain but I ran out of supplies! :(
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Re: Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

Postby bhylak » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:28 pm

I checked 3 pet stores and still none had methylene blue...

Anything else?
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Postby mkwaje » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:51 pm

Hmm.. If you ae going to Gram stain, you should stick to the original dyes and exact times. Otherwise, your results wouldn't be conclusive. If you only want to view the microorganisms, you can try different stains. Some of my students used soy sauce though I have never seen their slides. You can do negative staining using Nigrosin or India Ink. It makes cool "starlight images". Your bacteria should be unstained while the background is violet/dark gray/black background. One thing, please be careful in handling bacteria. Practice aseptic techniques and may I ask if you are doing this at home because you are asking to buy products from WalMart not Merck or any other Lab supplier. Exercise extreme care at home.

If you really want a good alternative, buy a gram stain kit for about $18.95. Here is the website:
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/produc ... 1264776542
I'm pretty sure there are lots of alternatives besides using soy sauce like what my students did.
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Re: Staining slides with Food dye? (Or any household item)

Postby Paul1987 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Gram-indeterminate bacteria do not respond to Gram staining and, therefore, cannot be determined as either Gram-positive or Gram-negative. :)
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