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Latest Optogenetics Stories

Motivation Pathways In The Brain Can Fail And Cause Depression
2012-11-19 06:37:26

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers from Stanford University have isolated the neurons responsible for determining whether or not exerting effort in order to complete a task is worth the energy that said effort will require -- a discovery which could help medical professionals better deal with depression and other brain-related disorders. According to the university, many psychiatrists believe that a person's "will to act" originates from the prefrontal...

Monkey Brains And Mind Control
2012-07-29 06:45:39

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers have for the first time shown that they can control the behavior of monkeys by using pulses of blue light to very specific brain cells. This is an advance for optogenetics, a state-of-the-art method for making slight connectivity between brain activity and behavior. According to the researchers, similar light-based mind control could likely also be made to work in humans for therapeutic needs and care. "We are the...

Robot Reveals The Inner Workings Of Brain Cells
2012-05-07 06:50:13

New method offers automated way to record electrical activity inside neurons in the living brain Gaining access to the inner workings of a neuron in the living brain offers a wealth of useful information: its patterns of electrical activity, its shape, even a profile of which genes are turned on at a given moment. However, achieving this entry is such a painstaking task that it is considered an art form; it is so difficult to learn that only a small number of labs in the world practice...

2012-03-21 15:19:55

What characterizes many people with depression, schizophrenia and some other mental illnesses is anhedonia: an inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences. Exactly why this happens is unclear. But new research led by neuroscientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine may have literally shined a light on the answer, one that could lead to the discovery of new mental health therapies. A report of the study appears March 22 in the...

2011-09-22 06:17:38

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Stanford researchers have created the first human heart cells that can be paced with light, providing new insight into the heart's function. To create the light-responsive heart cells, the investigators first inserted DNA encoding a light-sensitive protein -- known as ChR2 -- into human embryonic stem cells. ChR2 controls the flow of electrically-charged ions into the cell. The primary ion for heart cells is sodium, which initiates the electrochemical cascade that...

2011-09-21 19:44:41

20 mouse lines provide views of cortical GABA neurons not previously possible A team of neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has succeeded in creating what amounts to a GPS system for locating and tracking a vital class of brain cells that until now has eluded comprehensive identification, particularly in living animals. The cells in question are the class of neurons that release the neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). GABA neurons function to...

2011-08-11 06:42:48

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new technique that stimulates heart muscle cells with low-energy light raises the possibility of a future light-controlled pacemaker, according to this study. "Electronic cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators are well established and successful technologies, but they are not without problems, including the breakage of metal leads, limited battery life and interference from strong magnetic fields," Emilia Entcheva, Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate...

2011-07-28 01:01:37

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have been able to switch on, and then switch off, social-behavior deficits in mice that resemble those seen in people with autism and schizophrenia, thanks to a technology that allows scientists to precisely manipulate nerve activity in the brain. In synchrony with this experimentally induced socially aberrant behavior, the mice exhibited a brain-wave pattern called gamma oscillation that has been associated with autism and schizophrenia...

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2011-07-26 11:45:00

A new study by researchers at Stanford University, using a technique that manipulates light to control brain cells, has shown that broken sleep causes memory impairment in mice. Until recently scientists have been unable to separate the effects on the brain of different sleep patterns. But in the newest study, they were able to overcome that problem using the new method, known as optogenetics. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study could help...

2011-07-25 23:37:36

With the novel use of a technique that uses light to control brain cells, Stanford University researchers have shown that fragmented sleep causes memory impairment in mice. Until recently scientists have been unable to tease out the effects on the brain of different yet intertwined features of sleep. But these investigators were able to overcome that problem and come to their findings by using the novel method, known as optogenetics, to manipulate brain cells to affect just one aspect of...


Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.