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Latest Optogenetics Stories

beating heart of a zebrafish embryo
2014-07-25 02:45:59

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, München Researchers of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden report how they managed to capture detailed three-dimensional images of cardiac dynamics in zebrafish. The novel approach: They combine high-speed Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM) and clever image processing to reconstruct multi-view movie stacks of the beating heart. Furthermore, they have developed a method of generating high-resolution static...

2014-07-07 10:16:35

Institute for Basic Science Successfully inducing cell differentiation by light through the use of light-inducible receptor tyrosine kinases Institute for Basic Science (IBS), the main organization of the International Science and Business Belt project in South Korea, has announced that a group of researchers, led by professor Won Do Heo, have developed a new technology in the field of optogenetics that can remotely control specific receptors by light. They have named this new...

Turning Memory Off And On In Rats To Aid Alzheimer's Research
2014-06-02 14:18:58

Alan McStravick for redorbit.com - Your Universe online Memory is, it could be said, one of the most important keys in the propagation of a species. Without memory, one would be unable to recall fear of a predator or recognize a situation that promises a reward, such as food or an optimal mating situation. There is a flip-side to the coin of memory, too, however. A particularly traumatic experience can too easily be remembered given an environmental catalyst. Losing memory, as is the case...

Controlling Fruit Fly Movements With A Mind-Altering Device
2014-05-26 11:15:03

Alan McStravick for redorbit.com - Your Universe Online A joint collaboration between the Vienna University of Technology and US researchers, has resulted in the development of a unique and novel technique to control Drosophila melangogaster, perhaps better known as the fruit fly, via thermogenetic means. The control the researchers exert is ultimately able to be analyzed at the neural level within the brains of the insects. Much of the work was conducted at the Information Management...

2014-04-25 10:11:04

Leaps orders of magnitude beyond existing tools -- NIH study Scientists have bioengineered, in neurons cultured from rats, an enhancement to a cutting edge technology that provides instant control over brain circuit activity with a flash of light. The research funded by the National Institutes of Health adds the same level of control over turning neurons off that, until now, had been limited to turning them on. "What had been working through a weak pump can now work through a highly...

2014-04-25 10:04:46

Much-needed tool for neuroscience emerges after years of work Nearly a decade ago, the era of optogenetics was ushered in with the development of channelrhodopsins, light-activated ion channels that can, with the flick of a switch, instantaneously turn on neurons in which they are genetically expressed. What has lagged behind, however, is the ability to use light to inactivate neurons with an equal level of reliability and efficiency. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists...

2014-04-07 16:23:02

Skin cells use new molecule to send touch information to the brain In a study published in the April 6 online edition of the journal Nature, a team of Columbia University Medical Center researchers led by Ellen Lumpkin, PhD, associate professor of somatosensory biology, solve an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin surface enable us to feel fine details and textures. Touch is the last frontier of sensory neuroscience. The cells and molecules that initiate...

2014-02-10 11:15:53

Optogenetics is a technique that allows scientists to control neurons' electrical activity with light by engineering them to express light-sensitive proteins. Within the past decade, it has become a very powerful tool for discovering the functions of different types of cells in the brain. Most of these light-sensitive proteins, known as opsins, respond to light in the blue-green range. Now, a team led by MIT has discovered an opsin that is sensitive to red light, which allows researchers...

Optogenetics Therapy Binge Drinking
2014-01-06 15:09:17

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of American researchers has stumbled upon a way to prevent binge drinking in animal subjects, according to a new report in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. By using light to stimulate specific neurons in the brain, the study team was able to show a cause-and-effect relationship between the discharge of dopamine in the brain and drinking behaviors of animals. “For decades, we have observed that particular brain regions...

Neuroscience Method Of Optogenetics As Good As Electrical Stimulation
2013-12-12 17:27:06

Brown University Neuroscientists are eagerly, but not always successfully, looking for proof that optogenetics – a celebrated technique that uses pulses of visible light to genetically alter brain cells to be excited or silenced – can be as successful in complex and large brains as it has been in rodent models. A new study in the journal Current Biology may be the most definitive demonstration yet that the technique can work in nonhuman primates as well as, or even a little better...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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