Scientists Create Nearly Invisible Mice, Complete With See-Through Organs

Scientists have figured out a way to get a closer look at the fine details of mice anatomy than ever before by developing a technique that renders the rodents almost invisible.

The technique lends mice an almost completely transparent look by clearing out the light-blocking “heme” in the hemoglobin, which is responsible for the color in red blood cells throughout the

Because the basic biology of a mouse is similar to humans, these rodents are frequently used in biomedical research, which makes the ability to study them so closely extremely valuable. Scientists say this breakthrough can pave the way to study and possibly cure serious diseases in humans.

“It could be used to study how embryos develop or how cancer and autoimmune diseases develop at the cellular level, leading to a deeper understanding of such diseases and perhaps to new therapeutic strategies,” Hiroki Ueda, the lead researcher was quoted as saying. “It could lead to the achievement of one of our great dreams, organism-level systems biology based on whole-body imaging at single-cell resolution.”

The only limitation: the mice are not alive as the technique can’t be used to living animals.

To find out more, check out the RIKEN press release here.