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Medicine

Hydrogel Process Creates Transparent Brain For Research 46

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-see-what-your-were-thinking dept.
First time accepted submitter jds91md writes "Scientists at Stanford have developed a technique to see the structural detail of actual brains with resolution down to the cellular and axonal/dendritic level. The process called CLARITY allows a 'transparent' view of the brain without having to slice or section it in any way. From the article: 'Even more important, experts say, is that unlike earlier methods for making the tissue of brains and other organs transparent, the new process, called Clarity by its inventors, preserves the biochemistry of the brain so well that researchers can test it over and over again with chemicals that highlight specific structures within a brain and provide clues to its past activity. The researchers say this process may help uncover the physical underpinnings of devastating mental disorders like schizophrenia, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder and others.'"
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Hydrogel Process Creates Transparent Brain For Research

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  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:27PM (#43417445)
    The headline is focusing on the wrong thingThere was already a process to make brains look like glass. [gizmag.com] It was really cheap and easy too: it's just urea basically.

    The real story is the second part. You can stain for proteins and see where the localize. With SCALE, the previous method, you couldn't do that easily. Probably anyway, I never tried. You had to have fluorescent proteins expressing in the tissue, which isn't possible in human tissue samples from deceased patients unless you're trying some weird shit. Alternatively, you could stain sections, but that doesn't give you as good a 3D image of the 3D structure.

    It's really interesting work. If it doesn't cost too much, I may have to try it in my lab (though I don't work on brains.)
  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:38PM (#43417519)

    Since it achieves the transprency the same basic way (washout of the lipids in the bilayers), it should work on neary all soft tissues, not just neuronal tissue.

    So, unless you are researching diseases of adipose tissue, this should still be of real value.

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