Biologists in Japan have a developed an innovative scanning technique that makes tissues and vital organs transparent, allowing them to track cancer as it spreads throughout the bodies and brains of mice.

The new technique, described in the latest issue of Cell Reports, was developed by researchers from the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center, and it’s allowing scientists to visualise cancer at single-cell resolution.

Preexisting scanning techniques have been used to detect and track cancer in living animals before, but not with this level of clarity and microscopic detail.

Using the new technique, the scientists watched cancer cells multiply and spread (i.e.

metastasise) inside various mouse organs, including the lungs, intestines, liver, and brain.

Importantly, the researchers were also able to watch anti-cancer medicines combat these pernicious cellular invaders.

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