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Biotech Science Idle

Chemical Cocktail Turns Mice Clear 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
sciencehabit writes "Researchers have serendipitously discovered that a mixture of urea, glycerol, and soap makes membranes transparent. When they tried the mixture on a developing mouse fetus, they found that it removed all of the pigment from the cells, rendering the fetus completely transparent. The technique allowed scientists to see fluorescent neurons buried several millimeters in the brain."
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Chemical Cocktail Turns Mice Clear

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  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @08:03PM (#37270518)
    They used extremely common lab materials and seem to have told everyone the recipe: no patent was sought here. If they we going to try to sell it, they'd announce they had a secret, proprietary formula that could make your embryos turn clear. RIKEN, the institute that made the discovery, is not greedy. I've gotten DNA constructs from them before, they provided them free of charge, no contact making us promise to not share it, etc. If I could speak Japanese and if they'd hire me, I'd love to work there.
  • Re:dubious science (Score:5, Informative)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @08:16PM (#37270616)
    Yes it will. Controls will be treated as well. Furthermore, this isn't a live technique. You fix the embryo with paraformadehyde first probably. This is for looking at morphology of cells or tissues, not living function. You have one mouse line with a mutation that causes blindness, one without, you cross in a fluorescent marker that makes their optic nerves glow. You get the embryos, fix them, do this thing to them, then you can clearly see how it's affecting the nerve, for example. A lot less disruptive than the alternative of cutting it into slices.
  • Re:Not the worst (Score:4, Informative)

    by Genda (560240) <mariet@@@got...net> on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @09:20PM (#37271092) Journal

    When you "Blend" a mouse, you are typically doing some kind of chemical or cellular assay (depending on the level of blending you may be looking at whole cells, but more than likely you're looking at chemistry, genetic material or sub cellular organelles.) Making a Frappe' of Mr. Muscus, really makes doing other testing difficult to impossible and adding large amounts of oxygen to disrupted tissues damages delicate cellular chemistry, ultimately ruining your research. So when you make mouse soup, it should as much as possible be sans frothy head.

  • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @09:22PM (#37271102) Homepage Journal
    Dianetics, the auditing process by which one becomes "clear" of "engrams" (memories of past painful incidents), is just a fancy name for the PTSD treatment called abreaction therapy [wikipedia.org] by psychologists. The obsession with "Psychlos" in Scientology is just Hubbard's attempt to hide this connection.

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