New window into brain lets researchers study brain disorders
New technique renders brain 'transparent,' allows scientists to reconstruct neural circuitry
NSF-funded scientists developed a new imaging technology to see into the brain.
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January 2, 2018
Until recently, the composition of brain tissue limited researchers' insights into the brain's neural circuitry and function.
NSF-funded scientists developed a technique called CLARITY to chemically dissolve opaque elements and replace them with a hydrogel, essentially rendering the brain transparent. When used with fluorescent markers, CLARITY lets researchers precisely reconstruct the brain's neural circuitry in 3-D and analyze how changes to the brain may underlie certain disorders such as autism or depression.
The technique has been hailed as a breakthrough in neuroscience.
Directorate for Biological Sciences