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Title:Gaining Clarity
Author(s):Louie, Allison
Subject(s):Nutritional Sciences
Abstract:One of the challenges of looking into how the brain works is—well, quite literally looking into it. The brain is a dense, lipid-rich structure, which can make it difficult to visualize its fine, intricate connections on a large but sensitive scale. In order to study how environmental factors such as diet and infection might affect myelination processes of the brain, I utilize a tissue-clearing technique called CLARITY (Clear Lipid-exchanged Acrylamide-hybridized Rigid Imaging/Immunostaining-compatible Tissue-hYdrogel), which essentially renders the tissue "see-through" while maintaining an intact protein scaffold. With this, I can measure attributes of many individual myelinated fibers across relatively large regions of the brain. Here, transposed onto the night sky, is a sagittal section of mouse brain immunostained with anti-proteolipid protein and imaged with a confocal microscope. Exploring the brain and gaining insight into its complexities fuels my research and my desire to continue to seek out the unknown. While new research is constantly pushing the boundaries of what we know about the brain, there is still much to discover. You might even say it’s…the Final Frontier.
Issue Date:2020
Description:Honorable Mention in the 2020 Image of Research Competition
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Allison Louie
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-04-14

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