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Media Report: Seeing Through to a Mouse’s Nervous System

The New York Times Online: Neuroscientists have developed a way to turn an entire mouse, including its muscles and internal organs, transparent while illuminating the nerve paths that run throughout its body.

22.08.2016

The process, called uDisco, provides an alternate way for researchers to study an organism’s nervous system without having to slice into sections of its organs or tissues. It allows researchers to use a microscope to trace neurons from the rodent’s brain and spinal cord all the way to its fingers and toes.

“When I saw images on the microscope that my students were obtaining, I was like ‘Wow, this is mind blowing,’” said Ali Ertürk, a neuroscientist from the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in Germany and an author of the paper. “We can map the neural connectivity in the whole mouse in 3D.”

They published their technique Monday in the journal Nature Methods.

So far, the technique has been conducted only in mice and rats, but the scientists think it could one day be used to map the human brain. They also said it could be particularly useful for studying the effects of mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia. more

Media report of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research