Neuroscientists funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed an ultra-thin, minimally invasive device for controlling brain cells with drugs and light, and demonstrated that the device allows for wireless brain control by remotely drugging and controlling mice.
Optogenetics is a relatively new neuroscience approach that combines genetics with the physics of light. It uses light to monitor and control neurons that have been genetically modified to sense and respond to light. Optogenetics allows neuroscientists to control and monitor the activities of individual neurons in living tissue – even within freely-moving animals – and to precisely measure the effects of those manipulations in real-time. Now, EPFL scientists have observed and measured synaptic transmission in a live animal for the first time.