German researchers have developed a technique to reveal, in incredible detail, the bodies and brains of mice, opening up a new way to identify tumours and assist in drug development.
The 3D coloured maps (watch the videos), developed at Helmholtz Munich, can highlight tissues, cells, nerves and blood vessels in the bodies of dead mice, using a tool called wildDISCO.
The tool works by first making the mouse bodies transparent, before using fluorescent antibody ‘labels’ to distinguish different body parts and components (and how they are linked), including those that may otherwise be hidden from view.
Meanwhile, a study at Duke University, North Carolina, USA, has successfully created the clearest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images to date of the mouse brain, to better understand neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s – millions of times sharper than other MRI images.
Dr G. Allan Johnson at Duke said: ‘It is something that is truly enabling. We can start looking at neurodegenerative diseases in an entirely different way.’