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News Release 15-002 - Video

Expansion Microscopy brings the brain in 3-D into focus

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A new technique called expansion microscopy uses chemicals commonly found in baby diapers to swell mouse brain tissue samples with water to nearly five times the usual size, with little distortion. Tiny details once blurry now appear sharply in focus with a conventional microscope. This advance gives scientists a new way to see small parts of the brain, like the intersections between neurons. The NSF-funded findings, from Ed Boyden, Fei Chen and Paul Tillberg at MIT, are in the Jan. 15 issue of the journal Science.

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