Cytological Technique: The Principles Underlying Routine Methods

By John R. Baker | Go to book overview

with paraffin, are attached to a glass slide. The paraffin is dissolved away, usually with xylene, and this is washed away with pure alcohol. This is replaced by weak alcohol or water, and the section is then immersed in a solution of a stain. After staining the section is passed through alcohol to xylene once more. A drop of a resin called Canada balsam dissolved in xylene is put on a coverslip, and this is lowered on to the section. The slide is kept on a warm plate until the xylene has mostly evaporated away. The balsam is transparent and has the same refractive index as glass. It dries hard and holds the coverslip firmly in position. If a non-destructive fixative has been used and everything has been done carefully and intelligently, the cell should be seen with little distortion, the parts showing up clearly in one or more colours; and the maker of the slide should have some understanding of what he has done.


CHAPTER II
GENERAL REMARKS ON FIXATION

Introduction. --If we cut a piece of tissue out of an animal and leave it without further treatment, it will soon become very unlifelike. It will dry up and shrink unless we keep it wet. If we keep it wet with a salt solution of the proper osmotic pressure, it will not immediately undergo any large changes, but soon bacteria will begin to multiply and destroy the tissue unless we prevent them. Even if we keep out bacteria by strict asepsis, changes will occur. Every cell contains enzymes, which synthesize the amino-acids brought to it into the particular proteins of the cell. After death the cell becomes acid, and when this happens these enzymes begin to work in the wrong direction, splitting the proteins into amino-acids,

-21-

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Cytological Technique: The Principles Underlying Routine Methods
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to the Second Edition v
  • Preface vi
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I - Introduction 1
  • Chapter III - Simple Fixatives 21
  • Chapter IV - Fixing Mixtures 42
  • Chapter V - Microtomy 104
  • Conclusion 171
  • Chapter VIII - Methods for Chromosomes, Mitochondria and the Golgi Element 172
  • List of References 198
  • Index 205
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