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Latest Optogenetics Stories

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...

2011-07-21 12:25:31

The optgenetical engineering technology controls the activity of orexin neurons of the brain Recently, optogenetics, which controls the activity of neuron using the light-activated protein, has been getting a lot of attention. This light-activated protein works like a switch of neurons by sensing specific color of light. This time, Associate Professor Akihiro YAMANAKA and Dr. Tomomi Tsunematsu from National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), succeeded in suppressing only the...

2011-07-20 14:37:08

Researchers influence activity of nerve cells with laser light Unlike conventional methods, with the so-called optogenetics, the researchers are able to target one cell type. "We are now going to use this method to find out exactly what goes wrong in the nerve cells in movement disorders such as ataxias", said Prof. Dr. Stefan Herlitze (RUB Department for Biology and Biotechnology). The researchers report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The Bochum team examined a specific signaling...

2011-06-30 01:42:39

Using a combination of genetic engineering and laser technology, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have manipulated brain wiring responsible for reward-seeking behaviors, such as drug addiction. The work, conducted in rodent models, is the first to directly demonstrate the role of these specific connections in controlling behavior. The UNC study, published online on June 29, 2011, by the journal Nature, uses a cutting-edge technique called "optogenetics" to tweak...


Word of the Day
snash
  • To talk saucily.
  • Insolent, opprobrious language; impertinent abuse.
This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.