Transparent Nearly Invisible Mice Created By Japanese Scientists

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Some Japanese Scientists have attempted to create mice that are so transparent that they’re nearly invisible. The Scientists from the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center at Osaka University, Japan say their biggest challenge in the project was the light-blocking “heme” in hemoglobin, which puts the red into red blood cells and is found in almost every tissues in the body.Huff’ Post reports:

As it turns out, a substance used to make brains transparent for imaging also works to clear out heme.

At first, the researchers were able to make translucent mice organs. Here’s an image showing the kidney, liver and pancreas on the path toward near-invisibility.

Next, the researchers experimented on whole mice with the technique to clear heme from the body after using saline to remove blood from the circulatory system, The Japan Times reports.

The process takes about two weeks.

The mice aren’t just cool to look at. Researchers say they can be used to gain a better understanding of organs.

“It allowed us to see cellular networks inside tissues, which is one of the fundamental challenges in biology and medicine,” Kazuki Tainaka, first author of the paper, said in a news release.

With these mice, researchers may be able to study diseases that affect humans.