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A New, Custom-Built Microscope Is Capturing Stunning Views of the Brain

By June 12, 2023No Comments

Using technology originally designed for defect detection in electronics manufacturing, the newly built “ExA-SPIM” microscope is showing scientists the mouse brain as it’s never been seen before. 

ExA-SPIM, the brainchild of scientist Adam Glaser, Ph.D., is a one-of-a-kind microscope built for capturing images of the entire mouse brain at incredible resolution. The images coming off the scope allow scientists in the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics, a division of the Allen Institute, to view individual neurons and their wiring in the context of the entire mouse brain, a jellybean-sized organ that houses nearly 80 million individual neurons. The researchers use special fluorescent tags to make certain neurons glow under the microscope — and the resulting images from the new technology are stunning in their clarity and definition.