Navigation Links
MIT: Pulsing light silences overactive neurons

Scientists at the MIT Media Lab have invented a way to reversibly silence brain cells using pulses of yellow light, offering the prospect of controlling the haywire neuron activity that occurs in diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

Such diseases often must be treated by removing neurons that fire incorrectly. The new MIT research could lead to the development of optical brain prosthetics to control neurons, eliminating the need for irreversible surgery.

"In the future, controlling the activity patterns of neurons may enable very specific treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases, with few or no side effects," said Edward Boyden, assistant professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences and leader of the Media Lab's new Neuroengineering and Neuromedia Group.

Boyden and Media Lab research affiliate Xue Han published their results in the March 21 issue of the online journal Public Library of Science ONE (PLOS One).

The work takes advantage of a gene called halorhodopsin found in a bacterium that grows in extremely salty water, such as the Great Salt Lake in Utah. In the bacterium, Natronomas pharaonis, the gene codes for a protein that serves as a light-activated chloride pump, which helps the bacterium make energy.

When neurons are engineered to express the halorhodopsin gene, the researchers can inhibit their activity by shining yellow light on them. Light activates the chloride pumps, which drive chloride ions into the neurons, lowering their voltage and silencing their firing.

That inhibitory effect may be extremely useful in dealing with diseases caused by out-of-control neuron firing, said Boyden. "In such diseases, inhibition is more direct than excitation, because you can shut down neural circuits that are behaving erratically," he said.

Many epilepsy patients have implanted electrodes that periodically give their brains an electric jolt, acting as a defibrillator t
'"/>

Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Recent breakthroughs in common adult leukemia highlighted in New England Journal of Medicine
3. Bacteria collection sheds light on urinary tract infections
4. Sea skate experiment sheds light on human cell transport
5. X-Ray Beams And Fruit Fly Flight Simulator Aid Scientists View Of Muscle Power
6. McGill researchers shed light on formation of carcinogen in food
7. Scientists discover how plants disarm the toxic effects of excessive sunlight
8. Medical molecules designed to respond to visible light that can penetrate tissue
9. Genetic defects give the immune system the green light to attack the pancreas
10. Researchers find gene that may be at root of potato blight
11. Remote control flies? Fly behavior controlled by laser light
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: MIT Pulsing light silences overactive neurons

(Date:1/22/2015)... , Jan. 22, 2015 Research and Markets ... addition of the "Global Wearable Technologies Market ... Share, Overview, Trends and Forecast 2014-2020" report ... Technologies are smart devices that can be worn ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Dec. 23, 2014  Since its launch in December 2014, the ... the pain of trying to remember their usernames and passwords ... to their smartphones. To assist people who have struggled to ... that created 1U and focuses on redefining identity, announced today ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... , Dec. 22, 2014  The 2014 Holiday Season ... as Acuity Market Intelligence reports that the long anticipated ... forecasts that intensifying demand for smart phones, tablets, and ... global market of 2.5 billion users with nearly 4.8 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Global Wearable Technologies Market and Applications, Opportunities, Industry Analysis, Segmentation, Size, Growth, Share, Overview, Trends and Forecast 2014-2020 21U Offers Best Solution to the Username / Password Dilemma: For FREE! 21U Offers Best Solution to the Username / Password Dilemma: For FREE! 3First Season of Holiday Shopping with Mobile Biometric Payments Wraps Up With a Present for Biometrics Industry: A Rosy Forecast for More Than 2 Billion Users of 4.8 Billion Mobile Biometric Devices by 2020 2
... SITUATION: The largest living structures on Earth ... at risk, the most definitive review yet of the impact ... In a paper published in the prestigious Science Magazine today, ... race against time in preparing coral reefs and the coastal ...
... A pioneering study of wild chimpanzees has found that ... rebutting previous studies of captive individuals which had postulated ... 40 years of age. Together with recent data ... this week in the journal Current Biology -- suggests ...
... and Johns Hopkins University have uncovered another reason why ... is so dangerous. As reported in Nature Genetics ... of at least 13 microRNAs, small pieces of nucleic ... and off. Furthermore, in several instances, re-introducing repressed miRNAs ...
Cached Biology News:It's official: The carbon crisis is lethal for coral reefs 2It's official: The carbon crisis is lethal for coral reefs 3It's official: The carbon crisis is lethal for coral reefs 4Wild chimpanzees appear not to regularly experience menopause 2University of Pennsylvania researchers zero in on the tiniest members in the war on cancer 2
(Date:1/22/2015)... Calif. , Jan. 22. 2015  Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ... software, has been honored for its commitment to sustainability with ... companies. Varian is the highest ranked healthcare equipment company among ... today during the World Economic Forum at Davos, ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... , Dec. 24, 2014  United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: ... (NYSE: MDT ) has submitted a pre-market ... (FDA) for the use of Medtronic,s SynchroMed ® ... catheter) for use with United Therapeutics, Remodulin ® ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... “Preparative & Process Chromatography Market by ... Solvents, Buffers, Valves, Guages, Seals), Accessories, Services, End ... to 2019” provides a detailed overview of the ... and strategies impacting the preparative and process chromatography ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... December 23, 2014 On Friday, December ... the Omnibus and Continuing Resolution Appropriations Act of 2015, ... eligible to receive funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical ... (DoD). The Hydrocephalus Association (HA), working in conjunction with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Varian Honored Among World's 100 Most Sustainable Corporations 2United Therapeutics Announces Submission Of Pre-Market Approval Application For Implantable Drug Infusion System To Deliver Remodulin 2United Therapeutics Announces Submission Of Pre-Market Approval Application For Implantable Drug Infusion System To Deliver Remodulin 3United Therapeutics Announces Submission Of Pre-Market Approval Application For Implantable Drug Infusion System To Deliver Remodulin 4Preparative and Process Chromatography Market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2019 - New Report by Marketsandmarkets 2Preparative and Process Chromatography Market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2019 - New Report by Marketsandmarkets 3Preparative and Process Chromatography Market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2019 - New Report by Marketsandmarkets 4Rare Brain Condition Now Eligible for Department of Defense Research Dollars 2
... overwhelming perspective on the biotech industry that says it has ... pump billions of research dollars without any return. As we ... trade on earnings like Big Pharma companies; they trade on ... 2005 sales and earning results are still not out for ...
... materials used to display information on cell phones, monitors ... report in real time on the differentiation of embryonic ... which embryonic stem cells gradually turn into function-specific types ... heart or brain cells. , ,The main challenge facing ...
... Can a Mac really be hacked in just 30 minutes? ... systems engineer, who criticized recent media reports for sensationalism after they ... of a computer gave out login accounts to potential hackers. , ... had been given access to the computer to take full control ...
Cached Biology Technology:The world's leading biotech companies 2The world's leading biotech companies 3Liquid crystals show promise in controlling embryonic stem cells 2