TaxiClear turns mice, lizards into biological art

A new chemical clearing formula transforms mice and lizards into hauntingly beautiful works of art in the name of science. Crave's Bonnie Burton chats with TaxiClear's co-creator Michael Johnson.

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A new chemical formula called Visikol makes lab creatures look other worldly. TaxiClear

Biology specimens can be so beautiful they deserve to be shown as works of art with this TaxiClear Kickstarter project. Using the new chemical clearing formula -- Visikol -- TaxiClear gives mice, rats, lizards and other typical lab animals new lives as spectacularly stunning conversation pieces.

"We have been selling our newly invented chemical clearing formula called Visikol for over a year to mostly researchers at universities," Johnson told Crave. "In doing this we realized that there was a lot of interest in not only our chemical formula for research but the beautiful specimens that we could make with this chemical."

Thanks to this interest in Visikol, Johnson and his team launched the TaxiClear project to bring these specimens to the masses with their Kickstarter campaign, which include perks to buy light, dark and double stained mice, rats, fetal pigs and anole lizards. Funding for the project will enable Johnson and his TaxiClear team to make more amazing specimens in larger quantities.

"We had originally been just a chemical company, but now are excited to start selling these specimens to hobbyists, educators and anyone interested in art through biology," Johnson told Crave.

TaxiClear offers more than just a geeky collectible, it can also be used for educational purposes making it a fun resource for any classroom. Johnson and his team also have plans for more ambitious uses for their Visikol formula.

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This whole-body anole stained with Alcian is worthy of a "Game of Thrones" cameo. TaxiClear

"We want to keep some of this secret for now, but one of the products we plan to sell are cleared organs with latex injected arteries and veins which will bring a very unique tool to educators," Johnson told Crave.

While all the creatures available in the TaxiClear Kickstarter project have an eerie beauty to them, one creature stands out the most to Johnson.

"My favorite specimen would have to be the whole body anole because it looks like a glowing dragon," Johnson told Crave. "With our chemical we can clear whole organisms and this allows for the organs and all sorts of internal structures to be visualized. In the past this just wasn't possible and is a very unique aspect of TaxiClear. This is why a lot of researchers in the medical field are interested in our chemical formula for studying humans."

 

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