C&B Notes

Mental Clarity

To achieve a more holistic understanding of the brain, scientists have developed an approach that provides a clearer view of the interconnected network and structures in the organ.

In a report published today in the journal Nature, researchers at Stanford University described the method that replaced fats in the brain of mice with a gel that made the organ transparent.  The scientists were able to make images of the brain’s structures and see down to the cells and molecules, according to the paper.

The approach also was used on a human brain, the report said… “The BRAIN Initiative recently announced by the White House is designed to facilitate innovative strategies to better understand the brain,” Freund said in a video released by the institute.  “In order to do that, we need new technologies, and clarity is a great example of the type of technologies that will enable future brain studies.”  Previous methods required scientists to slice brains into small sections to look at anatomy.  This slicing deformed the organs and made it difficult for researchers to see large-scale information running across the slices.