When we talk about a transparent mouse, chances are, one would think of that computer peripheral that manipulates the screen’s cursor. Not so with this particular group of Japanese researchers, where they have successfully discovered a method that will be able to turn tissue to be transparent in mice, so that one will be able to check out the various cellular networks in a mouse, achieving a better understanding of the creature’s biological systems along the way. According to the researchers, this particular breakthrough could lead to a deeper comprehension of autoimmune and psychiatric diseases, where it is able to assist in 3D modelling of organs – and that includes the brain, too.


Researchers over at RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center and the University of Tokyo have achieved this capability, turning a mouse transparent, providing one to capture extremely detailed shots of the rodent’s individual organs – or even the organism in its unashamed entirety if you so desire.

How is this made possible, that man starts to play the role of a deity? Well, it will make use of a technique which is inspired by a brain imaging method known as CUBIC (Clear Unobstructed Brain Imaging Cocktails and Computational Analysis). Chromophores, a molecular subunit in the body which absorbs light, will be targeted here, where a specific chromophore can be stopped, resulting in organs becoming “dramatically more transparent.” [Press Release]

Filed in General. Read more about Japan and Science.

Related Articles on Ubergizmo