Science Fiction and real-world scientific advancements cross paths from time to time, and recently, we have had yet another crossover: Scientists at the REKIN Brain Science Institute in Japan have created a solution called Scale, which makes tissue transparent. When the solution is combined with florescent markers in specific organs (brain, liver, kidney, heart, etc.), researchers gain the ability to literally see into the body without the use of expensive techniques like MRIs or CT scans.
The Scale solution can slingshot the advancement of medical science and drug testing into a new realm of possibilities. For now, the only drawback is that the solution can only be tested on dead tissue. Paul Thompson, a neurologist from UCLA School of Medicine explains the benefits of using Scale in medical treatments: “If you have a treatment for Alzheimer’s, and the goal is to treat plaques building up in the brain, you might see if a drug is really getting rid of them, and that could be a big boost.”
Currently the reagent used is too toxic for use on living tissues, but scientists are hoping to find a milder reagent that will not harm living tissue.
Science is pushing our childhood dreams towards its final destination: an Invisibility Cream. And to think, the majority of the compound is readily available, and for the most part, free; apparently one of the main ingredients in Scale is urea, a major part of urine.
Just please don’t start stockpiling urine in hopes of becoming invisible; it won’t work.