The Gift of Being Crystal Clear

Do we understand crystal clear thinking? Perhaps, when someone is expressing clear thoughts we understand the concept, but in reality, we really do not understand what happens inside the brain when one is thinking clearly. But now in a Nature paper, scientists at Stanford University have unveiled CLARITY, which is an acronym for a technique to render a post-mortem brain completely clear, that is, optically transparent and permeable to macromolecules. One day CLARITY may help us understand clear thinking and much more. Importantly, it could give us a handle to better understand the extremely complex neuronal circuitry in the brain, with its 1014-1015 synapses. It could help us better understand the abnormal circuit wiring that occurs in humans affected by developmental pathologies, such as many psychiatric disorders. What an exciting moment for us to be witnessing this discovery!

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Renato Dulbecco: A Gentle Superman Recalled

David Baltimore, who shared the Nobel Prize with Renato Dulbecco and Howard Temin in 1975, said it best in his memorial tribute at the time of Dulbecco's death:[1] "A gentle superman," Baltimore wrote. Renato was truly a superman, although when I first met him, in his late seventies, stylish, sharp-as-a-razor scientist, he reminded me more of James Bond than of a comic book character. But indeed, superhero he was.

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