Technology blesses us with transparent mice

Transparent mice

Scientists are using technology to create transparent mice. Why?

How can you even ask that question? Transparent mice! How awesome is that?

Actually, despite the inherent awesomeness of the whole thing, there is a practical benefit for having transparent mice. They help scientists better understand what’s going on in their little mousey innards.

Tech Times reports this research may ultimately help scientists literally see what’s going on inside your head by creating transparent human brains. (No jokes about people who work at Fox News, please.)

The technique may also eventually be used to find cancerous cells in human skin biopsies.

In the meantime, at least we have transparent mice. Let’s have some fun!

The person we have to thank for see-through rodents is Viviana Gradinaru at the California Institute of Technology. One drawback. The mice are all dead.

And only their organs are transparent. Their bones are still as opaque as ever.

This is where it gets icky and probably involves a hunchbacked lab assistant named Igor. First you invite the mouse to a cocktail party and slip something in his drink. A mickey for the mouse, as it were.

Now with the mouse deader than the a dowager in an Agatha Christie mystery, you do what you have always wanted to do (don’t deny it) to pests at your cocktail parties and peel his skin off.

The researcher then laughs like Cruella de Vil, rubs her hands together, and pumps several cunning chemicals (including detergent) through the mouse’s blood vessels and passages in the brain and spinal cord.

Scientists prefer to use mice for this experiment because, well, using a group of hapless teenagers who chanced upon a spooky old house in the woods is still illegal in most states (with the possibile exception of Mississippi).

However, Tech Times, mice are a fair substitute. They’re equally small and bothersome. Plus, they have anatomies quite similar to those of humans. They’re also a lot smarter (if science fiction author Douglas Adams is to be believed, and of course he is).

Gradinaru tells Tech Times it takes a week to create a transparent mouse and two weeks to create a transparent rat, but boy, is it time well spent.

According to the website, the rodents end up looking like mouse parts covered with Jell-O (a description scientists predict will be used to describe Kim Kardashian in 15 years).

However, Kim Kardashian will not enable scientists to map her nervous system to create more effective treatments for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, so we’ll still better off with transparent mice.