Light Switches for Neurons

Just five years ago, scientists at Stanford University discovered that neurons injected with a photo-sensitive gene from algae could be turned on or off with the flip of a light switch. This discovery has since turned hundreds of labs onto the young field of optogenetics. Today researchers around the world are using these genetic light switches to control specific neurons in live animals, observing their roles in a growing array of brain functions and diseases, including memory, addiction, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury.

via Technology Review: Light Switches for Neurons.

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2 thoughts on “Light Switches for Neurons

  1. On the subject of addiction there is interesting research with the alkaloid Ibogaine and it’s ability to start a feedback loop of GDNF causing the NDMA neuropathways to regenerate.

    This has many implications and is well worth looking into!

  2. Pingback: Can Genetic Research Help to win the Fight Against Cancer? | EveryTherapist

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