Video of walnut sanded away layer by layer


Originally published at:


O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

-Hamlet, Act II, sc.2

Still seems like a waste of a good walnut, though.


Hmm, I think I saw a lack of development in the frontal lobe.

Oh wait, this is a walnut?

I thought it was an MRI of our president elect’s brain.


That’s a different wall nut.


Thats good. Not as good as this engine, but good none the less.


I know what I want for Christmas.


You know, I was thinking this technique could offer great cost savings over traditional MRI.


Especially if it’s used as a cost-saving measure for those elected officials trying to repeal the ACA.


Both of them suffer from the same problem, though- bits move and fall off. If only they’d embedded the whole things in epoxy resin, (like microscopists do) it could be avoided.

Maybe not really practical for an engine, but quite feasible for a walnut.


The Soviets kind of beat you to it.


Mmmmm Prosciutto!


You’re very unusual, aren’t you?


Why stop with just the brain?


How is he unusually? Prosciutto is delicious! They eat it like ham in Italy, I loved it.


way to make the walnut dude look bad.


ha, second time i’ve seen the visible human project linked today. I like the internet’s collective hiccups. Here’s a uni project I did about 7 years ago. Bask in my teenage pretentiousness!


You can slice one yourself on the web these days.

There’s also an interactive exhibit at the Centre for Life in Newcastle using the same data:


Körperwelten has a sliced body on display


I used to slice rat brains as a regular part of my job; the end of every experiment usually involved a solid month of 14hr/day slicing (with your hands spending the entire time inside a -18°C freezer and your eyes cramping from trying to make out tiny details) followed by another month of using miniature paintbrushes to delicately arrange the slices into the correct order on microscope slides.

(the little brown dots are fos protein, stained using immunohistochemical methods. They’re a marker of neuronal activity; every one of those dots is a single neuron that was working hard in the time shortly before the brain was extracted. Poor man’s fMRI)


At my old lab, we had a tech who was a semi-professional chef in his spare time. He was always claiming that, as soon as we got it properly cleaned, he was going to use our microtome to make some 20-micron prosciutto.