Why would someone want to implant a LED light into a creature’s brain in order to map processes? Well, our parents have taught us to question everything. And the advice is most precious when it comes to matters that are highly delicate and might pose a real threat to our existence. A LED device developed by scientists stimulates nerves in mouse brains. Well yes, it is important to go back to the root of things and understand some kind of process which helped evolution but games of the brain are if not dangerous, at least questionable.
A blue, glowing device, the size of a peppercorn can activate neurons in mice brains, spinal cord or limbs and it is powered wirelessly using the mouse’s own body to transfer energy. Science, meet technology, technology, this is science of the present. What we do from here, well, we play and see what happens. If we can play with brains, we can rule the world. Oh, what a sweet taste of victory would that provide! The LED device used in mice was developed by a Stanford Bio X team and the device is the first to deliver ontogenetic nerve stimulation in a completely implantable format.
Scientists declare that a lot can be learned through optogenetics, we don’t necessarily need to be conspirative about it. By now, people have successfully investigated a wide range of scientific questions, including how to relieve tremors in Parkinson’s disease, the functions of neurons that convey pain and potential treatments for stroke.
Science will go further to analyze how deeper and more delicate mental processes and mental disorders occur, such as anxiety and depression. That involves more complex experiments, with mazes and other types of sophisticated movements, which is more challenging when the mouse is tethered.
Light can change brain functions. By using the science known as optogenetics, experts can genetically alter neurons with green algae genes, in order to make them responsive to light. By modifying exclusive parts of the brain, experts can observe how the selected regions affect behavior. So, when the mouse is placed in an electromagnetic chamber, the implant coil harvests RF energy to power light, which for a change stimulates the targeted brain region.
To convince themselves that their imagined system is efficient, researchers tested it on neurons and spinal cord nerves. When the system is powered on, the mouse walks in circles. When the power is shut off, the behavior stops, signaling that the system is working. Scientists will conduct further experiments in order to gain insight on neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or blindness.
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