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Who needs an invisibility cloak when you can be transparent? Researchers in Japan recently developed a chemical
reagent that turns biological tissue
transparent, opening doors to optical
imaging techniques and avenues of
research that scientists have long only
dreamed of. And speaking of dreaming
— if you're going to start turning body
parts transparent, where better to start
than the brain?
What if you could dissect an organism
without so much as picking up a
scalpel? For years, researchers have
used animals like zebrafish — which
are naturally transparent at the
embryological stage of development,
and were recently genetically
engineered to remain transparent
through adulthood — to do just that.
But for other model organisms, like
mice and rats, scientists have always
had to get at their insides the old
fashioned way: by cutting them up.
The researchers' findings, which are
documented in the latest issue of
Nature Neuroscience, demonstrate their
ability to visualize in three dimensions
the intricate networks of neurons and
blood vessels in the brains of
embryonic mice at sub-cellular
resolution, like the neural stem cells
(green) and blood vessels (red) pictured
This latest research uses Scale to visualize fluorescently-labeled brain samples, but the researchers say that
their reagent will prove invaluable in
the study of other tissues, as well. Dr.
Atsushi Miyawaki, who led the RIKEN
research team, says they envision using
Scal e on organs like the heart, muscles,
and kidneys, and even on tissues from
other organisms, including primates
Originally posted by Mkoll
I bet it is highly carcinogenic.
Something this awesome has to have a downside.
Originally posted by TechUnique
All the stuff I used to dream about when I was little.. I never knew it would all come about so fast! We do live in an amazingly awesome phase of Human history. I don't know about you, but even during all this downright craziness, violence, confusion and deception, I still feel blessed and extremely lucky to be here!