Embedding minuscule glass tubes inside a mouse brain allows neuroscientists to monitor brain activity over long periods of time, watching neurons and tissue change with illness or aging. The method, developed at Stanford University, opens a porthole into the brain's deepest recesses.
Blindness, brain cancer, vegetative states: These are among the most hopeless conditions without cures—yet. Now doctors are turning to unorthodox methods to solve some of medicine's most intractable challenges. The early results are in, and they look promising.
Brain cancer is a classic double whammy: the extremely invasive form of cancer is both deadly and difficult to treat. Fortunately, there's a promising solution on the table: tumor painting.
Because brain cancer tends to invade surrounding healthy brain tissue, it blurs the line between tumor and non-tumor tissue, and makes it difficult for surgeons to circumvent the healthy parts of the brain when they saw away at the tumor. On top of that, current imaging techniques produce fairly imprecise representations of the tissue, which only compounds the problem.