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With support from a $200,000 instrumentation grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) in 2016, the Microscopy Services Lab (MSL) acquired a light sheet microscope, the only one of  this model in the state.  “This microscope is unique in its capabilities and it’s transformative in what research it can support,” said Pablo Ariel, Ph.D., director of the MSL , who has published a user’s guide for the microscope.  There are other light sheet microscopes in the state, he said, but the UNC device is the only one that is fully compatible with organic solvents, which, he believes, are what enable the techniques that lead to the best clearing of the brain. Also, the scope in Chapel Hill can accommodate large samples. And it can also accommodate other organs, like a heart or liver, for applications in a wide range of research using mice, which he said are a very biomedically relevant species.

The light sheet microscope was instrumental for researchers at UNC discovering a brain circuit about hedonic versus homeostatic feeding in mice. That is, what drives them to binge eat calorie-rich food that tastes good (hedonic) versus what drives them to eat only in response to hunger (homeostatic).
Read the full story on the NCBC website!