Recent studies have developed new techniques for tracking brain signals and bone development in mice and rats.
Scientists at Lund University, Sweden, managed to simultaneously measure more than 120 brain signals in awake rats, using electrodes.
In doing so, the team also identified what happens to individual neurons when the rats were given different psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, finding that there were the same wave patterns in brain signals, regardless of the drug, which were linked to hallucinations.
Pär Halje at Lund said: “… we now see a very specific oscillation pattern in rats that we are able to measure.”
Meanwhile, a study led by Masaryk University, Czech Republic, developed a new method, called BEE-ST, to monitor the formation of bone in mice.
The technique involves adding dye to newly forming bones or teeth – as they grow, the colour of the dye spreads, allowing the researchers to track how the bone tissue forms, regenerates and heals over space and time.
This is an improvement from existing 3D imaging techniques, which only provide a snapshot in time of bone development, rather than a sequence. The study also showed that BEE-ST could work to monitor bone formation in other species, such as chameleons, junglefowl and zebrafish (pictured).
Jan Křivánek at Masaryk told Popular Science that the tool ‘opens doors’ as it has the potential to be used for applications such as tissue engineering, for example to mend broken bones.