optogenetics

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have used deep brain stimulation based on light to treat motor dysfunction in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Succeeding where earlier attempts have failed, the method promises to provide new insights into why deep brain stimulation works and ways in which it can be improved on a patient-by-patient basis… Read more

Injectable nanoparticles that convert sound waves, which can easily penetrate into the brain, into light, have been developed by Stanford researchers[1]. Optogenetics, a tool for controlling neurons with light, has given neuroscientists the ability to flip brain cells on and off more or less at will, revolutionizing neuroscience. Yet the technique faces a fundamental challenge… Read more

New nanoparticles and nanoclusters dubbed “superballs” offer more control to optogenetics. Optogenetics is a technique that uses light to control cells within living tissue. The biological technique controls cells in tissues genetically modified for light sensitivity. Drawbacks are that the light can activate several genes at once and that it must penetrate deeply to be… Read more

In high stress situations like making a goal in soccer, some athletes go through a quick slump in performance under pressure, known as “choking.” Now, Salk Institute researchers have uncovered what might be behind the phenomenon – one-way signals from the brain’s emotion circuit to the movement circuit. The research[1] could lead to new strategies… Read more

Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists stimulated nerve cells in the visual cortex of mice to induce an illusory image in the animals’ minds. The scientists needed to stimulate a surprisingly small number of neurons in order to generate the perception, which caused the mice to behave in a particular way. “Back in 2012, we… Read more