Making Brains Easier to Image

A new review explains how different methods of tissue clearing work

Imaging biological tissues is always a challenge because they are three dimensional, and issues of light scatter make it hard to clearly view deeper structures without cutting sections. Neuroscientists have long been interested in methods for “clearing” - or making more transparent -brain tissue so it is easier to image intact.

“I think as a neuroscientist there’s no part of the body where clearing is potentially more influential in moving forward,” says Jeff Lichtman, a professor of molecular and cellular biology and Conte lab head who teaches microscopy at Harvard and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. 

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