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New formula invented for microscope viewing, substitutes for federally controlled drug
Date:5/17/2013

hloral hydrate and alleviate the "red tape" associated with clearing solutions, university researchers invented Visikol, a polychlorinated alcohol mixture that is safer, cheaper, and not federally regulated by the DEA. Thomas Villani and Professor James Simon of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with Professor Adolfina Koroch of City University of New York, developed and then tested the utility of Visikol alongside chloral hydrate to compare it as an effective replacement.

Villani and colleagues prepared samples of a broad range of fresh and dry plant material with either chloral hydrate or Visikol. They tested plant species that are important in plant biology and genetics research, botanical authentication and herbal pharmacology, and agriculture, including Arabidopsis, ginger, mat, lime basil, and oregano.

Visikol successfully cleared plant materials, creating transparent and detailed specimens of cells, tissues, and rhizomes, for viewing under a microscope light. Visikol also had a higher refractive index than chloral hydrate and served as an agent to mount tissues for microscopic identification. These results are published in the May issue of Applications in Plant Sciences (available for free viewing at http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.3732/apps.1300016) and are the first report of a replacement solution for chloral hydrate.

Visikol was originally developed as a tool for botanical microscopy; however, it will serve as a useful tool for teaching microscopy to students and professionals. "Since it is not regulated," comments Villani, "it will enable students to experience firsthand what they are taught on the chalkboard." Koroch adds, "It is often difficult for beginners to grasp microscopy, and Visikol's ease of use will help teachers engage and motivate students by allowing them to easily see biology in stunning detail."

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Contact: Beth Parada
apps@botany.org
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert

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