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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Cell Biology’s Super Resolution Revolution Stars at AAAS Meeting

"The Beauty and Benefits of Science" was the title of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2013 Annual Meeting that I attended last week in Boston. In other words, science is cool. Indeed, I heard a lot of cool science and I had many cool discussions with old friends and made new ones. However it did not help that I came down with a cold at the meeting—that was not cool, just cold—but I kept going, simply trading handshakes for air high-fives to avoid spreading germs.

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