Ali Ertürk, a neuroscientist at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, studies the mechanisms of neurodegeneration after brain injury. His lab developed DISCO tissue clearing, which makes it easier to view three-dimensional samples under a microscope by using tetrahydrofuran, a colorless solvent, to eliminate light scattering. Their new techniques, which combine DISCO and deep-learning algorithms to better visualize tissue, are being presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago this week. The team’s recent work was published as a preprint on bioRxiv in February. 

Neurons in the mouse brain and body, mouse brain vasculature, cancer metastasis, and a human eye are depicted through the lab’s imaging techniques.

“These are light-sheet microscopy images of transparent mouse and human organs after DISCO tissue clearing,” Ertürk explains of the video above. “We use them to map cellular architecture of intact organs and organisms at the cellular...

C. Pan et al., “Deep learning reveals cancer metastasis and therapeutic antibody targeting in whole body,” bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/541862, 2019.

Emily Makowski is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at

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