posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 11:37 PM
I would have included more in the OP but the servers screwed me once, and took a whole page away, which is the reason this one won't be long
This IMO is going to be HUGE! Studying the brain, while having to physically look at it as a whole or in slices really doesn't translate as easily
as some may think. Unless it's just me, I've always struggled with it. I once .worked at BODIES: The Exhibition and we spoke of advancements like
"Studying intact systems with this sort of molecular resolution and global scope -- to be able to see the fine detail and the big picture at the same
time -- has been a major unmet goal in biology, and a goal that CLARITY begins to address," Deisseroth said.
But this advancement is not just amazing, because we can look at it differently:
Using fluorescent antibodies that are known to seek out and attach themselves only to specific proteins, Deisseroth's team showed that it can target
specific structures within the CLARITY-modified -- or "clarified" -- mouse brain and make those structures and only those structures light up under
illumination. The researchers can trace neural circuits through the entire brain or explore deeply into the nuances of local circuit wiring. They can
see the relationships between cells and investigate subcellular structures. They can even look at chemical relationships of protein complexes, nucleic
acids and neurotransmitters.
"Being able to determine the molecular structure of various cells and their contacts through antibody staining is a core capability of CLARITY,
separate from the optical transparency, which enables us to visualize relationships among brain components in fundamentally new ways," said
Deisseroth, who is one of 15 experts on the "dream team" that will map out goals for the $100 million brain research initiative announced April 2 by
This advancement truly is a blessing, especially when it reaches the classroom. The best part being, that the stained used, can be flushed or taken
out and replaced with new stains that will highlight new regions! That means, less waste, which is always an issue. Also, this technique most likely
will find its way into other organs and tissues. Amazing.