Environment and Human Health
When studying the “green” effect of our life science reagents, we keep it simple. Typically we look at two variables: the effect on the environment and the effect on the researcher’s health. Often times these are overlapping issues, but not always. For example, we look for ways to reduce the level of consumable consumption or consider if an item can be reused. More important is the negative impact some products, in particular reagents, can have on the health of living organisms.
Eco-friendly DNA and Protein Stains
Many commonly used chemicals in life science research are highly toxic. Consider DNA binding dyes: simply because they are attaching to DNA, they can cause mutational effects. Ethidium bromide (EtBr) is one of the best characterized DNA mutagens. It also happens to be the most popular dye used to stain DNA-contained gels in electrophoretic experiments. We are proud to offer a non-toxic and non-carcinogenic DNA stain, Midori Green. An additional benefit of to using this stain is that is visualized by blue LED illumination, rather than harmful UV illumination.
Our product AcquaStain is a Coomassie stain replacement that does not rely upon the harmful chemical, methanol for staining protein PAGE gels. Instead it is a completely aqueous-based formulation which provides serious benefits to the protocol, as well as easy disposal down the drain. Whether it be finding ways to reduce consumption of consumables or to find workarounds that benefit the health the bench-side worker, we strive to always keep an eye on the environmental impact of our products.
David Unger and Mike Mortillaro