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Novel microscopy method offers sharper view of brain's neural network
Date:8/23/2012

neurons found in the cerebellum) and trace an entire brain's neuronal projections (the finger-like ends of a neuron by which neurochemical signals are received from other nerves).

According to Ludovico Silvestri, another member of the research team, this was the first time that a fluorescent mouse brain has been imaged in its entirety with such clarity. He adds that, in principle, the technique should be applicable to human brain samples if the current obstacle of fluorescently staining large blocks of fixed tissue can be overcome.

"The high-contrast fluorescence and fast acquisition assured by CLSM may represent a powerful tool to help neuroscientists navigate through the neuronal pathways of the brain," Pavone says. "Although this study was focused on brain imaging, we believe that CLSM also is ideally suited to exploreat micron-scale resolutionthe anatomy of different specimens such as murine organs, embryos and flies."

Along with refining CLSM to improve its imaging capabilities, Silvestri says the research team is using CLSM to image mouse models of several diseases, including autism and ischemic stroke. "We hope that the whole-brain tomographies we can obtain will one day provide insights into the mechanisms of these and other brain disorders," he says.


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Contact: Angela Stark
astark@osa.org
202-416-1443
Optical Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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