Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mouse brain seen in sharpest detail ever

26.10.2010
The most detailed magnetic resonance images ever obtained of a mammalian brain are now available to researchers in a free, online atlas of an ultra-high-resolution mouse brain, thanks to work at the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy.

In a typical clinical MRI scan, each pixel in the image represents a cube of tissue, called a voxel, which is typically 1x1x3 millimeters. "The atlas images, however, are more than 300,000 times higher resolution than an MRI scan, with voxels that are 20 micrometers on a side," said G. Allan Johnson, Ph.D., who heads the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy and is Charles E. Putman Distinguished Professor of Radiology.

The interactive images in the atlas will allow researchers worldwide to evaluate the brain from all angles and assess and share their mouse studies against this reference brain in genetics, toxicology and drug discovery.

The brain atlas' detail reaches a resolution of 21 microns. A micron is a millionth of a meter, or 0.00003937 of an inch.

An article detailing the creation of the atlas was published as the cover story in the November issue of NeuroImage journal.

The atlas used three different magnetic resonance microscopy protocols of the intact brain followed by conventional histology to highlight different structures in the reference brain. The brains were scanned using an MR system operating at a magnetic field more than 6 times higher than is routinely used in the clinic. The images were acquired on fixed tissues, with the brain in the cranium to avoid the distortion that occurs when tissues are thinly sliced for conventional histology.

The new Waxholm Space brain can be digitally sliced from any plane or angle, so that researchers can precisely visualize any regions in the brain, along any axis without loss of spatial resolution. (Waxholm is the Swedish town where the early concepts gelled for this atlas.)

"Researchers can take the reference brain apart and put it back together, because we have the 3-D data set intact, and any section will have the same excellent resolution," said Johnson, who is also a professor of biomedical engineering and physics at Duke. "It eliminates the Humpty Dumpty problem that researchers used to face when they made 3-D measurements of brain structures."

For example, a geneticist might want to alter a mouse's genotype in an experiment and learn what happens when the animal becomes highly responsive to fear challenges. "It would be interesting to see if the amygdala, (a brain center related to emotional arousal), is really smaller or larger in the animal," Johnson said. "However, if you do conventional histology, the animal brain shrinks when it is dried or prepared in alcohol, sometimes by about 40 percent. Because of variability, that would make it challenging to measure. This atlas provides a reference to measure against."

The team was also able to digitally segment 37 unique brain structures using the three different data acquisition strategies.

Scientists obtained images of brains from eight mice of the most frequently used strain of laboratory mice (C57BL), aged 66-78 days old. They registered the images together and created both an average and a probabilistic brain for reference. The average and probabilistic brains provide quantitative measure of variability. "It was truly remarkable how alike these structures were from brain to brain," he said.

All of the data is available on the web: www.civm.duhs.duke.edu/neuro201001.

As new data is gathered from other sources, researchers will be able to register it to the same coordinate system, which will promote data sharing, Johnson said. For example the Duke group has recently added data – also at the highest resolution yet attained – that allows definition of fiber tracts connecting different parts of the brain. Investigators at the Allen Brain Institute are now using the MR data to provide 3-D location for their extensive gene expression studies (http://mouse.brain-map.org).

The project was supported by the National Center for Research Resources, and the National Cancer Institute Small Animal Imaging Resource Program, the Mouse Biomedical Informatics Research Network, and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility.

Co-authors include Alexandra Badea, Jeffrey Brandenburg, Gary Cofer, and Boma Fubara of the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy, and senior author Jonathan Nissanov and Song Liu of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Nissanov is also with the Department of Basic Sciences at Touro University Nevada in Henderson, Nev.

Mary Jane Gore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

Further reports about: 3-D image Johnson MRI MRI scan Microscopy Mouse VIVO brain structure

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>