Stanford researchers have turned a dreary gray brain into an object as transparent as apricot Jell-O -- an approach that will reveal new secrets into the most mysterious of organs.
The process, called CLARITY, transforms the brain’s tissue by replacing opaque fat with a clear gel, creating a limpid organ with all of its essential circuitry intact and in place.
"Brain tissue is very dense," said researcher Kwanghun Chung. "We have developed a technique that makes tissue transparent ... so we can visualize the architecture, necessary to understand the function of the complex organ."
The technique ushers in a new era of whole-organ imaging, offering hope for improving the study of such devastating neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
It was conceived by a team led by bioengineer and psychiatrist Dr. Karl Deisseroth, one of the 15 experts on the "dream team" that will map out the goals for the $100 million brain research initiative announced April 2 by President Obama.
"This feat of chemical engineering promises to transform the way we study the brain’s anatomy and how disease changes it," according to a prepared statement by Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Three-dimensional view of stained hippocampus showing fluorescent-expressing neurons (green), connecting interneurons (red) and supporting glia (blue).
Prehistoric Underwater Wall Divides Scientists 2013 12 11 Two camps of scientists have faced off on the issue of the underwater structure known as Bimini Road off the coast of the Bahamas since it was first discovered in 1968.
One camp says it is a 12,000–19,000-year-old man-made structure—flouting the conventional understanding that advanced civilizations only emerged some 5,000 years ago.
The other camp says it is a natural formation.
Mars May Have Harbored Life 3.6 Billion Years Ago 2013 12 10 Mudstones from Gale Crater, the original landing site of Curiosity, were formed in a lake which may have existed on the planet for hundreds of thousand of years according to scientists.The basin which is 150km wide with a mountain at its centre, could very well have sustained more than one lake approximately 3.6 billion years ago.
Research analysis shows that the ...
Geologists discover ’super volcano’ in Utah, possibly larger than Yellowstone 2013 12 10 Geologists at Brigham Young University have discovered what may be the world’s largest "super" volcano that erupted in Utah’s own backyard.
While there are a variety of volcanoes that blast away in different ways, super volcanic eruptions are the biggest that collapse into large calderas. Yellowstone Park is the remains of one of those calderas and it’s still very much alive ...
Rice grown near crippled Fukushima nuclear plant served to govt officials 2013 12 10 Rice from fields in the Fukushima prefecture, evacuated after the worst nuclear disaster in Japan, will be served to government officials for 9 days in a bid to demonstrate the safety of the country’s most-beloved crop, a local broadcaster reported.
The rice cultivated in several decontaminated fields in the Yamakiya District in Kawamata Town and Iitate Village, two areas designated as ...
Robots with machine guns: U.S. Army sees latest gear 2013 12 10 Updates on the seemingly inevitable robot apocalypse...
Autonomous Robots With Guns - What could possibly go wrong?
"Commercial companies showed off their weaponized robots to U.S. Army officers at Fort Benning, Georgia, this week. Military leaders were looking to see what the technology is capable of and how it could be used on the battlefield."