Cleared and Stained Specimens
"Clearing and Staining" is a procedure in which a preserved specimen is treated in a series of chemicals. The first chemicals literally 'digest' the specimen to a semi transparent state. Then the specimen is submersed in special biological dyes that adhere to specific tissues, such as cartilage or bone. Next comes a series of baths that remove the excess dye until only the targeted tissue is stained. Clearing and staining deformed specimens allows researchers to study the full anatomy of the organism and to try to understand at what at what point of development the abnormal growth occured.
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