Have you ever been taking a picture of your mouse embryo collection and gotten frustrated because the darn things just weren't transparent enough? Like a lot of other bizarrely specific issues, scientists have actually had this one before. In order to solve it, scientists at RIKEN in Japan have published a special "recipe" that will let you transpar-ify all of your mouse embryos in two weeks or less!
They accomplish this effect by soaking the embryos in something called Scale (italics are theirs) for around two weeks, the main ingredients of which are urea (yes, that stuff from urine), Triton-X, which is a kind of flesh-softening detergent, and Glycerol from antifreeze. That's it. There are already similar products on the market called clearing agents, but this one takes the cake in terms of effectiveness. While others can help you only see so deep, with Scale, the only limitation is the strength of your microscope.Read More