Max-Planck-Award 2014 | Hidden Treasures?

Bianca Schmid wins the second prize with her CLARITY animation “Mouse Hippocampus”

December 01, 2014

CLARITY animation: Mouse hippocampus

The hippocampus is a central part of the brain. It generates memories, allows spatial orientation and plays an important role during stress reaction or emotional distress.

Using the CLARITY method, Bianca Schmid made a whole mouse brain transparent. This brain derived from a mouse which expresses the green fluorescing protein GFP only in nerve cells. Subsequently, Bianca Schmid analyzed the three dimensional structure of the nerve cells with a Light Sheet Microscope.

Applying CLARITY, tissue can be made transparent without destroying the anatomy, proteins or DNA. Thus, scientists don’t have to prepare tissue slices anymore but can analyze organs in whole. For the first time, structural and molecular information can be obtained from biologically intact organs.

At the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, the researchers now aim at unravelling one of the greatest mysteries in biology: how our brain really works.

Moreover, we cordially congratulate the other winners:


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