So we’re shrinking animals and making them transparent. Like, in real life.

Nature Methods has the details on a process that seems totally like 1950s B-movie technology with a 1970s sci-fi name – a system called “ultimate DISCO” to prepare mice for study by making their bodies transparent and shrinking them to one-third their original size:

uDISCO preserves fluorescent proteins over months and renders intact organs and rodent bodies transparent while reducing their size up to 65%.

We used uDISCO to image neuronal connections and vasculature from head to toe over 7 cm and to perform unbiased screening of transplanted stem cells within the entire body of adult mice.

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The same system, they say, could be used to help preserve, store, and study human tissue and “large organ systems” in us or other animals.

(It’s also covered in a more readable form – but behind a paywall – in The Wall Street Journal.)

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