Fat-free See-through Brain Bares All

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Method Enables 3-D Analysis of Fine Structure and Connections – NIH-funded Study

A breakthrough method, called CLARITY, developed by National Institutes of Health-funded researchers, opens the intact postmortem brain to chemical, genetic and optical analyses that previously could only be performed using thin slices of tissue. By replacing fat that normally holds the brain’s working components in place with a clear gel, they made its normally opaque and impenetrable tissue see-through and permeable. This made it possible to image an intact mouse brain in high resolution down to the level of cells and molecules. The technique was even used successfully to study a human brain.

“CLARITY has the potential to unmask fine details of brains from people with brain disorders without losing larger-scale circuit perspective.”

–NIMH

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