News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology • 2016-02-10

Researchers Have Preserved An Entire Rabbit Brain


Five years ago, a non-profit organization called the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) challenged the world's neuroscience community to a tough task: to preserve a mouse brain (or a mammalian brain of equal size) for extreme long-term storage. All the neurons and synapses within it would have to remain intact and visible while viewed under a special electron microscope. If achieved, the accomplishment would allow scientists not only to have a better way of studying and possibly treating brain diseases, but it would also pave the way to the idea that we might someday be able to preserve the memory stored in the brain's trillions of microscopic connections.

Rabbit brain 4

Kenneth Hayworth/The Brain Preservation Foundation

Robert McIntyre taking a rabbit brain out of a -135 degrees Celsius freezer unit after overnight storage. The brain is completely solid.

Five years ago, a non-profit organization called the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) challenged the world's neuroscience community to a tough task: to preserve a mouse brain (or a mammalian brain of equal size) for extreme long-term storage. All the neurons and synapses within it would have to remain intact and visible while viewed under a special electron microscope. If achieved, the accomplishment would allow scientists not only to have a better way of studying and possibly treating brain diseases, but it would also pave the way to the idea that we might someday be able to preserve the memory stored in the brain's trillions of microscopic connections.

Today, BPR has announced that a project done by 21st Century Medicine and led by Robert McIntyre, a recent graduate of MIT, has won the prize and brought the five-year race to a successful end. The team was awarded $26,735 for their work.

Reported By Robert Lee

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