Your dream of one day having your very own miniaturized see-through rodent is close to becoming a reality thanks to a group of researchers in Munich. Wait… maybe that sounds more like a nightmare. Don’t worry though, in reality these vermin are dead before their skin and bones become transparent.
On a more serious note, this aforementioned breakthrough occurred at the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and was published in the Nature Methods journal on Monday. While it is not the first case of turning a once living creature transparent, it pushes the previous boundaries to make it something that gives researchers more precision and time to conduct studies.
The technique involves using a special solution to strip away tissues of fat to leave only the transparent skin. During the process, excess water is also removed to miniaturize the rat to about a third of its original size.
By leaving the rat in this new state, researchers are able to study the intact organs to better understand both how they work and how diseases affect the body.