Why is the nucleus the only blue thing?

Q. Basophilic stains like hematoxylin stain the nucleus blue – but why is the nucleus the only basophilic organelle in the cell?  If it has to due with DNA charge, why are ribosomes not also stained?

A. I LOVE staining questions!  Ribosomes do indeed stain blue due to their RNA content. However, the eosinophilic cytoplasmic constituents often outweigh/outnumber ribosomes, and the blue of the ribosomes is not usually visible. If the cell is making a lot of protein, though, and the ribosomes are really active, then the cytoplasm of the cell will start to take on a purple (blue plus pink) or blue color. Plasma cells, for example, make a ton of antibodies – so their cytoplasm has a nice blue-purple color.

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