Navigation Links
A 3-D light switch for the brain
Date:11/19/2012

A new tool for neuroscientists delivers a thousand pinpricks of light to a chunk of gray matter smaller than a sugar cube. The new fiber-optic device, created by biologists and engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, is the first tool that can deliver precise points of light to a 3-D section of living brain tissue. The work is a step forward for a relatively new but promising technique that uses gene therapy to turn individual brain cells on and off with light.

Scientists can use the new 3-D "light switch" to better understand how the brain works. It might also be used one day to create neural prostheses that could treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The researchers describe their device in a paper published today in the Optical Society's (OSA) journal Optics Letters.

The technique of manipulating neurons with light is only a few years old, but the authors estimate that thousands of scientists are already using this technology, called optogenetics, to study the brain. In optogenetics, researchers first sensitize select cells in the brain to a particular color of light. Then, by illuminating precise areas of the brain, they are able to selectively activate or deactivate the individual neurons that have been sensitized.

Ed Boyden, a synthetic biologist at MIT and co-lead researcher on the paper, is a pioneer of this emerging field, which he says offers the ability to probe connections in the brain.

"You can see neural activity in the brain that is associated with specific behaviors," Boyden says, "but is it important? Or is it a passive copy of important activity located elsewhere in the brain? There's no way to know for sure if you just watch." Optogenetics allows scientists to play a more active role in probing the brain's connections, to fire up one type of cell or deactivate another and then observe the effect on a behavior, such as quieting a seizure.


'/>"/>
Contact: Angela Stark
astark@osa.org
202-416-1443
Optical Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. New study shines light on barriers to diabetes care in NYC Bangladeshi community
2. EPA to highlight innovative ways to detect and respond to biological threats
3. Ancient whale species sheds new light on its modern relatives
4. Linking and lightening: New partnership connects and reveals dark data
5. AGU journal highlights for March 29, 2012
6. AGU journal highlights for April 16, 2012
7. Folding light: Wrinkles and twists boost power from solar panels
8. Light weights are just as good for building muscle, getting stronger, researchers find
9. Creating energy from light and air - new research on biofuel cells
10. IBNs Droplet Array sheds light on drug-resistant cancer stem cells
11. The music of the (hemi)spheres sheds new light on schizophrenia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A 3-D light switch for the brain
(Date:7/24/2014)... is available in German . ... Norway and they are a common sight on the roads ... cars topped the list of new vehicle registrations for the ... in Germany, where electric vehicles claim only a small portion ... roads in Germany, only a mere 8000 are electric powered. ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... a virus living inside your gut that has gone ... by researchers at San Diego State University has found ... to a newly described virus, named crAssphage, which infects ... Bacteroidetes . This phylum of bacteria is thought ... diseases. The research appears today in Nature Communications ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today ... the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public ... three-year, $700,000 Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant ... by Native subsistence hunters in subarctic North America ... exposure and to provide culturally-relevant recommendations for mitigation. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Nano-supercapacitors for electric cars 2Nano-supercapacitors for electric cars 3Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population 2Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population 3Studying impacts of indoor air pollution on tribal communities 2Studying impacts of indoor air pollution on tribal communities 3
... French . Quebec City, October 27, ... of pancreatic cells and could increase the risk of developing ... Faculty of Pharmacy. Details of this discovery were recently published ... In vitro tests conducted by Professor Frdric Picard and ...
... & Self-Service Will... -- REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., Oct. 27 ... ... if (typeof(lpUnit)==,undefined,) var lpUnit=,PRN,; --> ... { var s = ,; var first_result; // Results are keyed by longUrl, so we need to grab the ...
... global studies of future species shifts and losses foresees ... but offers new hope that it could be slowed ... experts Henrique Miguel Pereira and Paul Leadley, the 23-member ... DIVERSITAS, UNEP-WCMC and the secretariat of the CBD compared ...
Cached Biology News:Glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells 2CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 2CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 3CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 4CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 5CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 6CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 7CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 8CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 9CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Insurance Consumer Expectations; Customer Experience & Self-Service Will Hit New Highs in 2011! The Role eSignatures Will Play in Meeting that Demand 10Continuing biodiversity loss predicted but could be slowed 2Continuing biodiversity loss predicted but could be slowed 3
(Date:7/24/2014)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering.  ... in vitro growth of plant or animal cells for ... production. Cell culture is a crucial step in tissue ... culture consumables are necessary for the in vitro production ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... 24, 2014 Three companies from the ... Livestrong’s Big C Competition. Out of 700 competition entrants, ... to the semi-final round. In this round twenty teams ... program, complete with mentoring from thought-leaders and medical entrepreneurs ... of the angelMD commitment to the Livestrong vision around ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... 2014 The first part of the ... First in Human Studies” will cover comprehensive clinical support ... , With increasing R&D costs and declining industry success ... maximize the knowledge collected in early Phase I/IIa study ... in late stage development. , Next, the presenters will ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014 ... reporting of molecular diagnostic test results. It also ... necessary for the validation and reporting of high ... Molecular diagnostics is a rapidly growing area of ... disease, genetic predisposition, cancer, and companion diagnostics in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Global Cell Culture Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Becton, Dickinson and Co, EMD, GE Healthcare, Lonza Group, Sigma Aldrich and Thermo Fisher Scientific 23 angelMD Startups Make Livestrong Big C Semi-finals 2Best Practices for Optimizing Dose Escalation in First in Human Studies, New Webinar August 6th Hosted by Xtalks 2New DNA-barcode Patent Virtually Eliminates False Test Results and Sample Mix-up 2
... professor of materials science and engineering at Virginia ... the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award presented by ... is for scholars, internationally renowned in their field, ... ago and who are expected to continue to ...
... Investor Uprising ( www.investoruprising.com ) has released "A Guide ... best biotech Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and mutual funds, ... Website. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110411/NY80781LOGO-a) "A ... market, identifying the leading biotech mutual funds and ETFs. ...
... 2011 Aaron Mitchell, managing principal at global management consulting ... consultants of 2011 by Consulting Magazine. Mitchell was recognized for ... over several years and during a major, recent product launch. ... the top consultants," said Mitchell, who has more than 10 ...
Cached Biology Technology:Virginia Tech's Kathy Lu receives Humboldt Foundation research award 2Investor Uprising Publishes Free Biotech Investment Report 2Investor Uprising Publishes Free Biotech Investment Report 3Managing Principal at ZS Associates Named One of Consulting Magazine's Top 25 Consultants of 2011 2