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Nicola Parry

Articles by Nicola Parry:

How Histology Slides are Prepared

Ever wondered what magic happens to turn your samples into histology slides? Find out the 5 simple steps for histology slide preparation.

Image showsing some of the tools required for histology slide preparation
19 Nov 2020 Microscopy and Imaging

A Beginner’s Guide to Haematoxylin and Eosin Staining

Discover what haematoxylin and eosin staining is used for and how it works in this concise guide to H&E staining.

Image of Haematoxylin and Eosin Staining
09 Jul 2016 Microscopy and Imaging

Go For Gram! Staining Bacteria for Light Microscopy

The Gram stain is another commonly used special stain in the histology lab. Why use a Gram stain? The Gram stain is a type of differential staining technique which represents an important initial step in the characterization and classification of bacteria using a light microscope. It is named after a Danish scientist, Hans Christian Gram,…

09 Jul 2016 Microscopy and Imaging

Verhoeff-van Gieson Stain: A Special Histology Stain for Elastic Fibers

If you want to visualize elastic fibers in your sample, you need to use Verhoeff-van Gieson stain. Find out more about this stain, including how to use it.

15 Apr 2014 Microscopy and Imaging

Toluidine Blue – A Histology Stain for Mast Cells (and Other Things!)

Discover the magic of toluidine blue – a polychromatic dye that changes color depending on which tissue component it is staining.

Blue watercolor painting with bubbles mimicking toluidine blue stain
28 Jan 2014 Microscopy and Imaging

Special Stains for Histology: An Introduction and Basic Overview

Get introduced to some of the special stains for histology and learn some top tips for getting great results.

Image of colorful stains highlighting the various special stains for histology
14 Jan 2014 Microscopy and Imaging

Don’t See Red! Use Oil Red O- A Histological Stain For Fats And Lipids.

What Does Oil Red O Stain? Oil Red O (‘ORO’) is used to demonstrate the presence of fat or lipids in fresh, frozen tissue sections. Introduced by French in 1926, ORO is a fat-soluble diazo dye, and is classified as one of the Sudan dyes which have been in use since the late 1800s. Like…

21 May 2013 Microscopy and Imaging

Prussian Blue- A Histology Stain For Iron

Want to detect iron in your samples? You need Prussian blue! Discover the incredible sensitivity of this stain and how to use it.

Image of an iron as a pun of how prussian blue detects iron in samples
07 May 2013 Microscopy and Imaging

Congo Red – A Special Stain For Alzheimer’s Disease

Discover interesting facts about Congo red and it can help us understand Alzheimer’s disease.

Image of a red powder to represent the color of congo red stain
26 Mar 2013 Microscopy and Imaging

Acid Fast: A Histology Tool To Detect Bacteria and TB

Acid-fast stain (AF) is a special staining technique used in the histology lab. Discover which bacteria this stain detects, the history behind it, and how it works.

Image of bacteria to represent how to detect bacteria with acid-fast stain
05 Mar 2013 Microscopy and Imaging

How To Find Fungi In Your Histology Samples- Go For GMS!

Gomori’s methenamine silver is a special histology stain for detecting fungi. Find out how and why you might want to use this stain in the lab.

Image of Fungi representing fungi detection with Gomori’s methenamine silver stain
19 Feb 2013 Microscopy and Imaging

Starry Starry Night? No, Warthin-Starry Stain!

Continuing in our series, the Warthin-Starry (WS) stain is another type of special stain often in the histology lab to detect certain types of organisms. Why Use Warthin-Starry? Some Gram-negative organisms do not stain well by the Gram stain technique. These include spirochaetes (such as Helicobacter, Leptospira, Borrelia, and Treponema species), as well as small…

18 Dec 2012 Microscopy and Imaging

Why Pick PAS for Histology?

Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) is a commonly used special stain in the histology lab. Find out more about what this stain detects and how to use it.

Image of a young man showing his back to highlight how periodic acid Schiff stains polysaccharides such as glycogen
09 Oct 2012 Microscopy and Imaging

Microscopists: Have you Tried Trichrome?

Have You Tried Trichrome? The trichrome stain is one of the most commonly used special stains in every histology lab. The pedantic meaning of the word trichrome is “three-coloured”, referring to how the technique differentially stains tissue samples in three colors. However, the term is now actually used to describe any staining method using two…

11 Sep 2012 Microscopy and Imaging

An Introduction to Special Stains

It’s unclear exactly how the term ‘Special Stains’ first arose in the world of histology, but it refers to empirical and histochemical staining techniques that significantly contributed to the advancement of histology in the late 19th century. In a nutshell, these stains are ‘Special’ because they are not routine – simple as that. Therefore, Special…

07 Aug 2012 Microscopy and Imaging

The Poor Man’s Polariser…Got Shades?

I recently introduced you to the concept of polarising microscopy. Naturally, if evaluating refractile material is an everyday part of your research, it is definitely worth investing in a professional polariser modification for your microscope. But if you only use a polariser occasionally, this might not be the best use of your lab’s money. In…

20 Feb 2012 Microscopy and Imaging

What You Ought To Know About Polarising Light Microscopy

Polarising microscopy involves the use of polarised light to investigate the optical properties of various specimens. Although originally used predominantly in the field of geology, it has recently become more widely used in medical and biological research fields too. Polarising light microscopy is a contrast-enhancing technique to allow you to evaluate the composition and three-dimensional…

08 Feb 2012 Microscopy and Imaging

How Köhler Illumination Can Help You See The Light

Although the microscope is probably the most commonly used biological instrument, it is frequently used improperly. The rate-limiting step to getting high quality microscopic images is illumination of your specimen. When you examine a specimen under the microscope, the intensity and distribution of light must be clear and equal to enable you to evaluate all…

05 Dec 2011 Microscopy and Imaging

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Light Microscope

If you’re starting your PhD or post-doctoral work, chances are you’ll need to use a light microscope at some stage during your research. Some of you may be seasoned microscopists. For many of you though, this might be the first time you’ve ever plugged in a microscope, or at least the first time you’ve used…

16 Nov 2011 Microscopy and Imaging
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