Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Shawn Mikula on Brain Preservation Protocols and Extensions

Here's an interview with Shawn Mikula  a neuroscientist on his recent paper in Nature Methods describing a new protocol for preserving a mouse brain such that, in principle, the entire neuronal connectome can be scanned (actually doing it using current technology would take years).

The work is exciting because it shows that in as little as 3 years, a similar protocol for humans could be devised. That'd pave the way for mind uploading and other advances in neuroscience.

Here we describe a preparation, BROPA (brain-wide reduced-osmium staining with pyrogallol-mediated amplification), that results in the preservation and staining of ultrastructural details throughout the brain at a resolution necessary for tracing neuronal processes and identifying synaptic contacts between them. Using serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM), we tested human annotator ability to follow neural ‘wires’ reliably and over long distances as well as the ability to detect synaptic contacts. Our results suggest that the BROPA method can produce a preparation suitable for the reconstruction of neural circuits spanning an entire mouse brain

Comparison OF BROPA to the similar but older ROTO


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