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Biology made simpler with clear tissues
Date:8/5/2014

istribution of individual tumor cells within a tissue mass. In the future, Gradinaru says, the methods could be used in the clinic for the rapid detection of cancer cells in biopsy samples.

The ability to make an entire organism transparent while retaining its structural and genetic integrity has broad-ranging applications, Gradinaru says. For example, the neurons of the peripheral nervous system could be mapped throughout a whole body, as could the distribution of viruses, such as HIV, in an animal model.

Gradinaru also leads Caltech's Beckman Institute BIONIC center for optogenetics and tissue clearing and plans to offer training sessions to researchers interested in learning how to use PACT and PARS in their own labs.

"I think these new techniques are very practical for many fields in biology," she says. "When you can just look through an organism for the exact cells or fine axons you want to seewithout slicing and realigning individual sectionsit frees up the time of the researcher. That means there is more time to the answer big questions, rather than spending time on menial jobs."


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Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
debwms@caltech.edu
626-395-3227
California Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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