Scientists at Riken Quantitative Biology Center and the University of Tokyo announced Friday that they succeeded in removing color from a dead mouse’s tissue by injecting a saline solution into its heart, pushing the blood from its circulatory system. Unfortunately, the creatures can’t live through this procedure, but nevertheless scientists think it could be helpful in a variety of anatomical studies.
While similar techniques had been applied to making the brain of a mouse transparent, this is the first time the researchers succeeded in creating an entire see-through mouse, a spokesman at Riken said. The procedure can’t be used on living organisms but will help lead to a new understanding of organs in the body in 3D structure and “how certain genes are expressed in various tissues,” the researchers said in a statement. The technique allows them to inspect organs without having to dissect the body, they said, adding that the team has already applied the method to examine diabetic mice to study their pancreatic structure.