Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Remotely controlled brain.

Switching technology from lasers to LEDs lets an MIT startup plant a  light-weight controller right into a lab animal brain.
Jan 23, 2012. MTR -- Optogenetics relies on genetically altering certain cells to make them responsive to light, and then selectively stimulating them with a laser to either turn the cells on or off. Instead of a laser light source, Kendall Research uses creatively packaged LEDs and laser diodes, which are incorporated into a small head-borne device that plugs into an implant in the animal's brain. The device, which weighs only three grams, is powered wirelessly by supercapacitors stationed below the animal's cage or testing area.

The wireless capabilities allow researchers to control the optogenetics equipment remotely, or even schedule experiments in advance. 
Data collection is also seems to be one of their key applications. Maybe when people agree to genetically modify their brains to emit lights, this technology will be invaluable for a new kind of communications.

tags: control, energy, storage, communications, biology, brain, startup

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