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Method for making brain transparent may open scientific frontier

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The recipe for transforming cadaver brains into see-through research tools stands to accelerate investigations ofAlzheimer's diseaseschizophrenia and a host of other brain maladies, and already has led to a significant insight into the peculiar characteristics of neurons associated with Down syndrome and autism.



The advance, published online Wednesday by the journal Nature, was described by scientists as "transformative" and just plain "cool." It involves washing away the fat that normally obscures the view of cells and replacing it with a see-through gel to hold everything in place


"You can find out where your favorite neurotransmitter is, where your favorite gene is expressed," Insel said. "That's pretty cool."

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