After providing all the funding for The Brain from Top to Bottom for over 10 years, the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction informed us that because of budget cuts, they were going to be forced to stop sponsoring us as of March 31st, 2013.

We have approached a number of organizations, all of which have recognized the value of our work. But we have not managed to find the funding we need. We must therefore ask our readers for donations so that we can continue updating and adding new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom web site and blog.

Please, rest assured that we are doing our utmost to continue our mission of providing the general public with the best possible information about the brain and neuroscience in the original spirit of the Internet: the desire to share information free of charge and with no adverstising.

Whether your support is moral, financial, or both, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Bruno Dubuc, Patrick Robert, Denis Paquet, and Al Daigen

Monday, 16 June 2014
Making the Brain Transparent To Explore It More Easily

A relatively new technique can now perform the amazing feat of making a mouse’s brain completely transparent (This same technique has been tried on human brains as well, but so far has succeeded in making only parts of them transparent.)

But enabling scientists to see through the brain would be merely an interesting curiosity if this technique—dubbed “Clarity” by the team that developed it—did not also preserve the brain’s entire underlying cellular and molecular structure, so that existing methods of staining and tracing nerve bundles can be applied to the brain once it has been rendered transparent. The neural pathways throughout the mouse brain thus become visible in the finest detail, while the transparency of the tissues enables researchers to obtain a far more comprehensive overview of the axonal pathways than was ever possible before. (more…)

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