Scientists have made mice transparent - let us hope they were dead first! Studying the human body and test animals in general is difficult because usually one has to carry out dissections to see inside. The new process will change medicine.
Lipids block sunlight in bodies, so it has to be replaced with acrylamide which is just transparent hydrogel. After the acrylamide is absorbed, the bodies are placed into detergent which absorbs the lipids. Electricity is also applied to reduce the time taken to "clean" tissue.
The treated mice do not keep their original shape. They end up like gel in a plastic bag. Internal organs can be clearly seen, however. After staining, the structure of organs can be seen as shown in the picture above.
Micro-slicing has been used to date. A computer assembles a 3D structure for study. Both systems will probably be used in future as each as its benefits. There are plans to adapt the transparency technique to evaluate tissue in cancer patients. Biopsies will be treated to identify any cancerous cells.
Science by Ty Buchanan