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is an organic compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...
with the chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....
O. It is used in biology and medicine as a histological stain
Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is performed by examining cells and tissues commonly by sectioning and staining; followed by examination under a light microscope or electron microscope...
. Cresyl violet is an effective and reliable stain used for light microscopy sections. Initially, tissue sections are ‘defatted’ by passing through graded dilutions of ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...
. Then, rehydrated by passing back through decreasing concentrations of ethanol. Lastly, back into water. The ethanol solutions act to differentiate the stain, causing myelin and other components to lose color whereas perikarya retain the color.