See Through Science

Three days marinating in a sugar-water sauce turns opaque tissue (left) to clear (right), allowing scientists to probe the inner workings of the brain and other organs. The combination of fructose, water, and small amounts of other chemicals is a new technique called See Deep Brain. It works by reducing the scattering that occurs when light passes through materials with differing refractive properties.The technique, described online this week in Nature Neuroscience.


The hazel has been associated with wisdom, magic and divination for centuries and the carrying of a hazel wand conferred not only wisdom but the power of eloquence on the bearer. The most potent hazel wand should be cut on Midsummers’ morning. Although we think of the forked hazel twig as the diviners’ rod these days, a straight hazel wand can also be used for water divining and to attract rain — also to find veins of metal. To protect a seedbed from the attention of birds, insects and the Faere Folk draw on it with a hazel wand a cross, followed by a heart then another cross.

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