Ethidium bromide (EtBr) is a widely used nucleic acid gel stain although it is also a known potent mutagen. EtBr is an intercalating DNA-binding dye with little sequence preference. Once bound to nucleic acids, the fluorescence of the dye is enhanced by more than 10 times while the excitation maximum is red shifted by 30-40 nm and emission is blue-shifted by about 15 nm. Because of its toxicity, we offer EtBr solution in H2O as a safer alternative to weighing out the powdery form. In addition, we also offer activated charcoal bags for convenient removal of the dye from solution (catalog no. 22007).
For safer and more sensitive DNA gel staining, we highly recommend that you switch to GelRed® or GelGreen®. Scientists at Biotium developed GelRed® and GelGreen® using a novel yet very simple concept: reduce genotoxicity by preventing the dyes from entering living cells. The Ames test confirmed that GelRed® and GelGreen® are nonmutagenic at concentrations well above their working concentrations used for gel staining. In addition, GelRed® is much more sensitive than EtBr. Biotium also offers DNAzure®, a unique, visible blue DNA gel stain. DNAzure® allows you to visualize DNA bands in gels by eye, with detection sensitivity rivaling most fluorescence-based gel stains.
For bright and sensitive RNA gel staining, we highly recommend that you switch to EMBER500™ RNA Prestain Loading Dye. Biotium scientists developed EMBER500™ to offer much brighter signal and higher sensitivity than EtBr for RNA gel staining. EMBER500™ RNA Prestain also includes formamide as well as electrophoresis tracking dyes, allowing sample denaturing, loading, tracking, and staining in a single step. Free samples of EMBER500™ are available for a limited time. Please visit the product page to learn more and how to receive a free sample.
Click here to learn more about Biotium’s nucleic acid gel stains.
- λEx/λEm (with DNA) = 522/593 nm (EtBr also has a large absorption peak at 279 nm)
- Red solution
- Store at 4°C and protect from light
- MW: 394.31
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