Science Diary: Frontiers of the Brain – Retrospective

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“So right now we’re just chilling solutions, getting ready to harvest the tissue. When the brain comes out, it’ll go into a seizure unless it’s put into a sucrose solution that’s chilled. And then we’ll put it in that same solution in the slicer, and we’ll slice that up hopefully without damaging it; take it back to Bloomington, and hopefully we have activity.”

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. This month – a look back at some of our favorite stories. John Beggs is a biophysicist at Indiana University. He and his students have traveled to Indianapolis to collect brain tissue from a neurosurgeon. The tissue is being removed because it was scarred as the result of a car accident. The samples are donated to the Beggs lab, in the hope that by learning more about brain activity, new treatments can be developed for disorders like epilepsy.

“So, the tissue was just removed.”
“This is a really big piece of tissue.”
“What do you want for time information?”
“Maybe four minutes. We’ll pull the tissue out, I’ll stick it on here. We’re gonna use the chemwipe to take some of the solution out, but not all This tissue is alive as soon as we get it. I mean, this just came from the brain.”

[slicer sound]

But it’s a race against time. As minutes elapse, brain tissue dies, and the likelihood of recording any activity from it becomes increasingly remote.

“Okay, so the day hasn’t gone as well as we’d hoped. We’re here looking at the activity on the array, well. the lack of activity on the array, and we’re 43 minutes into the third slice, and things aren’t looking too good.”

There will be successful scans from other brain samples. It’s all part of the continuing trial and error process of how science works.

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.

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Science Diary: Frontiers of the Brain - Retrospective

For a brain researcher working with live tissue, time is of the essence.
Air Date:03/30/2009
Scientist:
Transcript:


music; ambience

“So right now we're just chilling solutions, getting ready to harvest the tissue. When the brain comes out, it'll go into a seizure unless it's put into a sucrose solution that's chilled. And then we’ll put it in that same solution in the slicer, and we’ll slice that up hopefully without damaging it; take it back to Bloomington, and hopefully we have activity.”

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. This month - a look back at some of our favorite stories. John Beggs is a biophysicist at Indiana University. He and his students have traveled to Indianapolis to collect brain tissue from a neurosurgeon. The tissue is being removed because it was scarred as the result of a car accident. The samples are donated to the Beggs lab, in the hope that by learning more about brain activity, new treatments can be developed for disorders like epilepsy.

“So, the tissue was just removed.”
“This is a really big piece of tissue.”
“What do you want for time information?”
“Maybe four minutes. We’ll pull the tissue out, I’ll stick it on here. We’re gonna use the chemwipe to take some of the solution out, but not all This tissue is alive as soon as we get it. I mean, this just came from the brain.”

[slicer sound]

But it’s a race against time. As minutes elapse, brain tissue dies, and the likelihood of recording any activity from it becomes increasingly remote.

“Okay, so the day hasn’t gone as well as we'd hoped. We're here looking at the activity on the array, well. the lack of activity on the array, and we're 43 minutes into the third slice, and things aren't looking too good.”

There will be successful scans from other brain samples. It’s all part of the continuing trial and error process of how science works.

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.

music