Better View of the Brain

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

The enormous complexity of the brain makes understanding how it works, and how diseases affect its function, a daunting challenge. This challenge has been exacerbated by the microscopic scale of neurons and synapses, which makes it nearly impossible to gather information visually.

Now, researchers at Stanford University have developed a method for staining thin slices of brain tissue, capturing a series of high resolution images, and then stitching the images together to create a visual model of brain structure. Their paper on the method is published this week in Nature and the photo below shows the level of synaptic detail that their approach renders.

This is pretty exciting as it could greatly improve our ability to inspect brain tissue and to understand brain function; both of which could play a role in accelerating our understanding of the field.
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