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β-Mercaptoethanol can act as an enzyme reactivator in systems necessitating reduction for activation, and has been commonly used to reduce disulfide bonds in order to separate protein subunits for use in electrophoresis. This product can also be used to form o-Phthalaldehyde-beta-mercaptoethanol (OPAME), a fluorogenic reagent shown to detect amino acids based on its reaction with primary amines. More recently OPAME has been used to distinguish between ssDNA/dsDNA and even single base mismatches in the hybridization of DNA. It is widely used for retarding oxidation of biological compounds in solution.
Margaret L. Heidrick..; Linda C. Hendricks.; David E. Cook. Effect of dietary 2-mercaptoethanol on the life span, immune system, tumor incidence and lipid peroxidation damage in spleen lymphocytes of aging BC3F1 mice. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 1984, 27 (3),341-358 .
B. Tasheva.; G. Dessev. Artifacts in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis due to 2-mercaptoethanol.Anal. Biochem. 1983, 129 (1),98-102 .
Hazard Statements: H227-H301+H331-H310-H315-H317-H318-H373
Combustible liquid. Toxic if swallowed. Toxic if inhaled. Fatal in contact with skin. Causes skin irritation. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Causes serious eye damage. May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
Precautionary Statements: P210-P235-P260-P262-P264b-P270-P271-P272-P280-P301+P310-P302+P350-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P310-P311-P314-P330-P333+P313-P361-P363-P370+P378q-P501c
Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. - No smoking. Keep cool. Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product. Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace. Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician. IF ON SKIN: Gently wash with plenty of soap and water. IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician. Get medical advice/attention if you feel unwell. Rinse mouth. If skin irritation or rash occurs: Get medical advice/attention. Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. In case of fire: Use CO2, dry chemical, or foam Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant