Mice have helped scientists make numerous groundbreaking discoveries, and now they will be used once again in order to help us learn more about the brain. Researchers plan to study mice brains by implanting transparent skulls to the animals. It is believed that this research will help scientists find new treatments for brain disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
“This new device allows us to look at the brain activity at the smallest level zooming in on specific neurons while getting a big picture view of a large part of the brain surface over time,” University of Minnesota researcher Suhasa Kodandaramaiah said in a press release.
The journal Nature Communications published the new study on Tuesday. We can read more details about how this device works and how it was created. As it turns out, researchers used a 3D printer and a scanner in order to make transparent skulls for the mice. Then, the mice went through surgery, and their skulls were replaced with those transparent ones.
Scientists implanted transparent skulls in mice to analyze their brain in real time
“These are studies we couldn’t do in humans,” researcher Timothy J. Ebner said in the release, “but they are extremely important in our understanding of how the brain works so we can improve treatments for people who experience brain injuries or diseases.”
The transparent skulls have already proved to be very useful since they helped them study how a mild concussion that takes place in one region of the brain affects the rest of it. Researchers hope that this new device will allow them to study all types of brain issues, making it easier to come up with a cure for them.
For those who are curious, it is also possible to watch a mouse brain scan at 5x speed. The video is available below.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.