RE: ordering colchicine

From: Chris Hind (
Date: Tue Jul 27 1999 - 07:31:27 PDT

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 07:31:27 -0700
From: "Chris Hind" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2726$foo@default>
Subject: RE: ordering colchicine

> Hmmm--
> I don't know where this incredible rumor started, but it's entirely
> baseless. Colchicine does not appear on any of the DEA controlled
> substance schedules (I-IV). I'd be VERY interested in checking your
> sources for this.

What would you say if I told you it was in a textbook written by one of my
previous college instructors?

> Colchicine _is_ a remarkably (potentially) hazardous
> substance, as its unsafe use can cause mitosis (cell division) to stop in
> its tracks (in the user). This may not matter much with regards to brain
> and muscle tissue, but could spell doom for intestinal epithelium, liver
> tissue (think neoplasms, aka cancer), and meiotic cell types, such as
> sperm and ova primordia.

Yep, that would do the job. Ethidium bromide is nice too for when doing PCR.

> It is used to induce polyploidy in germ cell
> primordia. In plants such polyploid cells can quite often survive and
> retain their ploidy through successive generations. Polyploid animal germ
> cells cannot usually survive division, although there are certain
> well-documented exceptions (certain ambystomid salamanders and hylid
> frogs). In any case, I think I'd rather handle live rattlesnakes than
> colchicine if I were given the choice.

Has anyone actually tried this on flytraps to see what mutants it creates?
It seriously sounds like an inspiration for the 'clam' form of flytrap seen
at the bottom of Tom Hayes' site.

>I think you should consider safer
> means of genetic manipulation, suh as selective breeding.....

Too slow I'm afraid. I'll be happy when college students figure out ways to
port more sophisticated gene engineering methods to hobbyist use. Like those
amateur PCR kits theyre selling here or there or perhaps some of these
biochips theyre working on as the cost falls and they become more readily
accessible. Hack software, DNA alike.

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