Seeing through the brain (by Chinmaya Sadangi)

The brain is a complex and mysterious organ, which performs many functions and the proper functioning of this precious machine is important for well-being. There are about 86 billion neurons in the brain and they interact by forming circuits. Therefore, it is critical to understand the structural organization and the neural circuits underlying brain functions. However, a major obstacle to study and understand the brain lies in the fact that it is densely composed of lipids, due to which the light is scattered and cannot penetrate inside. Thus, the high lipid content makes it difficult to image the whole brain. The traditional method to image the brain is to slice it into thin sections (µm) followed by histological staining and imaging but this is a time-consuming, error-prone process, and there…

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