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Transparent Brain Could Clear Up the Mysteries of the Mind

By making a mouse brain transparent, researchers are able to visualize its architecture.

Mapping the structure of the human brain is a daunting task: Billions of cells make vast numbers of connections, and tracing these tangled fibers is so labor-intensive that analyzing just one square millimeter of tissue takes years. 

Into this murky mess, Stanford University neurobiologist Karl Deisseroth has brought CLARITY, a technique that turns brain tissue transparent while maintaining its structure. The method, described in Nature in April, makes it possible to inspect the 3-D architecture of an intact mouse brain in microscopic detail. 

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