Second fiddle, better fiddle

Fiddlin Bill Henseley, Mountain Fiddler, Asheville, North Carolina by Ben Shahn, 1937
Fiddlin Bill Henseley, Mountain Fiddler, Asheville, North Carolina by Ben Shahn, 1937

Sometimes you spend years working on a project and then, right as you are about to share your progress with the world, someone else beats you to it. I’d imagine Meng-Tsen Ke, Satoshi Fujimoto, and Takeshi Imai were feeling pretty disgruntled in June when the Deisseroth lab published their technique for making brain tissue optically clear.  The press coverage of CLARITY was immense, I even wrote a post about it. But it turns out while we were all drooling over clear brains, another group was coming up with a cheaper and easier way to make brain tissue see-through. Continue reading “Second fiddle, better fiddle”

Clear brains you say??

Karl Deisseroth
Karl Deisseroth

The interwebs have been abuzz this week about a new technique published in Nature coming from the Deisseroth Lab at Stanford (formerly of optogenetics fame). Now he’s the optogenetics guy AND the CLARITY guy, come on Karl leave something for the rest of us! Anyway, the new method allows entire brains, that have been removed from their respective skulls, to be processed into hydrogel hybrids that are optically clear and able to be labeled and observed all the way to their very center. This video is an example of a CLARITY processed mouse brain that is labeled with Thy1-GFP (green fluorescent protein expressed in ~10% of neurons). You can see individual neural cell bodies (the small round dots) and the projections from individual neurons (long thin fibers). Continue reading “Clear brains you say??”