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Light-sensitive serotonin receptors may help study causes of anxiety, depression

Light-sensitive serotonin receptors may help study causes of anxiety, depression

Anxiety and depression are two of the most frequently occurring mental disorders worldwide. Light-activated nerve cells may indicate how they are formed. [More]
Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Because billions of neurons are packed into our brain, the neuronal circuits that are responsible for controlling our behaviors are by necessity highly intermingled. This tangled web makes it complicated for scientists to determine exactly which circuits do what. Now, using two laboratory techniques pioneered in part at Caltech, Caltech researchers have mapped out the pathways of a set of neurons responsible for the kinds of motor impairments--such as difficulty walking--found in patients with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Non-invasive optogenetic therapy can help treat chronic pain

Non-invasive optogenetic therapy can help treat chronic pain

The potential of light as a non-invasive, highly-focused alternative to pain medication was made more apparent thanks to research conducted by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre. [More]
UNC scientists develop new optogenetic tool to study function of different proteins

UNC scientists develop new optogenetic tool to study function of different proteins

Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have developed a way to embed light-responsive switches into proteins so that researchers can use lasers to manipulate protein movement and activity within living cells and animals. [More]
Prior Scientific collaborates with Neurotar to produce in vivo microscopic imaging solution for neuroscientists

Prior Scientific collaborates with Neurotar to produce in vivo microscopic imaging solution for neuroscientists

Prior Scientific reports that its collaboration with Neurotar has produced a seamlessly integrated solution for in vivo microscopic imaging in the brain of awake and moving rodents. The solution is based upon Prior’s ultra-stable and easily adjustable Z-Deck platform. [More]
New optogenetic technology could turn on immune cells to attack melanoma tumors

New optogenetic technology could turn on immune cells to attack melanoma tumors

A new optogenetic technology developed at UMass Medical School, called optogenetic immunomodulation, is capable of turning on immune cells to attack melanoma tumors in mice. Using near-infrared light, UMMS researchers have shown they can selectively activate an immune response by controlling the flow of calcium ions into the cell. This breakthrough could lead to less invasive, and more controlled and selective, immunotherapies for cancer treatment. [More]
High-speed acquisition of multi-wavelength fluorescence images: an interview with Jeremy Graham, Cairn Research

High-speed acquisition of multi-wavelength fluorescence images: an interview with Jeremy Graham, Cairn Research

On-chip Electron Multiplication is now a mature technology, which has allowed manufacturers to build cameras that are both fast and sensitive; ideal for live cell fluorescence imaging. [More]
Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Two secrets of one of the brain's most enigmatic regions have finally been revealed. In a pair of new studies, scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a specific neural circuit that controls walking, and they found that input to this circuit is disrupted in Parkinson's disease. [More]
Researchers explore ways to use light to combat cancer

Researchers explore ways to use light to combat cancer

Immunotherapy is one of the hottest emerging areas of cancer research. After all, using the body's own cells to fight cancer can be more effective and less invasive than flooding the entire system with toxic chemicals. [More]
Bern study sheds light on the brain mechanism of arousal

Bern study sheds light on the brain mechanism of arousal

Scientists from Bern have discovered a mechanism which is responsible for the rapid arousal from sleep and anesthesia in the brain. The results of their study suggest new strategies for the medical treatment of sleep disorders and recovery of consciousness in vegetative states. [More]
Light-driven protein has potential to become key tool for optogenetics

Light-driven protein has potential to become key tool for optogenetics

Biophysicists have developed a hypothesis to explain the function of a light-driven protein which pumps sodium ions across a cell membrane, and they have revealed the key structural feature of these pumps. The scientists see these sodium pumps as being highly promising tools in using light signals to control nerve cells – which is exactly what is involved in the new scientific field of optogenetics. [More]
Specific deep-brain circuit's firing frequency can alter forebrain activity, alertness levels

Specific deep-brain circuit's firing frequency can alter forebrain activity, alertness levels

Adjusting a specific deep-brain circuit's firing frequency immediately and dramatically alters rats' forebrain activity and alertness levels, Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have shown. [More]
Circuit awarded contract to pursue optogenetic therapies for peripheral nervous system indications

Circuit awarded contract to pursue optogenetic therapies for peripheral nervous system indications

Circuit Therapeutics today announced that it has been awarded a 2.7 million dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to pursue optogenetic therapies for peripheral nervous system indications. The award, part of DARPA's Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRX) program, will enable Circuit to pursue research and development projects related to its treatment for neuropathic pain. [More]
Scientists succeed in promoting regeneration of injured neurons in zebrafish by the use of light

Scientists succeed in promoting regeneration of injured neurons in zebrafish by the use of light

The nervous system is built to last a lifetime, but diverse diseases or environmental insults can overpower the capacity of neurons to maintain function or to repair after trauma. A team led by Dr. Hernán López-Schier, head of the Research Unit Sensory Biology and Organogenesis at Helmholtz Zentrum München, now succeeded in promoting the repair of an injured neural circuit in zebrafish. [More]
Excelitas Technologies® Corp. and Quorum Technologies Present Microscopy Systems for Optogenetics Webinar

Excelitas Technologies® Corp. and Quorum Technologies Present Microscopy Systems for Optogenetics Webinar

Excelitas Technologies® Corp. and Quorum Technologies will present a webinar entitled “How Can I Build a Microscopy System for Optogenetics?” led by featured speakers Kavita Aswani, Ph.D., senior applications scientist for the Life Sciences products at Excelitas Technologies, and Ryan Geil, M.Sc., service manager at Quorum Technologies Inc. The session will be moderated by Photonics Media and takes place on Thursday, November 12 at 1:00 pm (EST). [More]
Oxford professor wins Heinrich Wieland Prize for pioneering method that helps control nerve cells with light

Oxford professor wins Heinrich Wieland Prize for pioneering method that helps control nerve cells with light

Gero Miesenböck was the first to insert a light-controlled on/off switch into brain cells. His pioneering method allows scientists to switch nerve cells on and off selectively and observe how the behaviour of, for example, fruit flies or mice changes as a result. In this way, researchers can learn in a step-by-step process what behaviour the studied brain circuits control and what goes awry in disease. For his method, hailed as a "breakthrough of the decade," Professor Gero Miesenböck of the University of Oxford will receive the 100,000-euro Heinrich Wieland Prize of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation in Munich on November 6, 2015. [More]
Study sheds light on mechanism of neuronal activity

Study sheds light on mechanism of neuronal activity

Neurons communicate by passing electrical messages, known as action potentials, between each other. Each neuron has a highly specialized structural region, the axon initial segment (AIS), whose primary role is in the generation and sending of these messages. [More]
MIT neuroscientists discover brain circuit that controls sleep

MIT neuroscientists discover brain circuit that controls sleep

Sleep is usually considered an all-or-nothing state: The brain is either entirely awake or entirely asleep. However, MIT neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that can trigger small regions of the brain to fall asleep or become less alert, while the rest of the brain remains awake. [More]

Innovative optoelectronic implantable device helps access brain microcircuits

Brown University researchers have created a new type of optoelectronic implantable device to access brain microcircuits, synergizing a technique that enables scientists to control the activity of brains cells using pulses of light. [More]
Researchers find how different neurons work together to reduce responses to frequent sounds

Researchers find how different neurons work together to reduce responses to frequent sounds

Being able to understand speech is essential to our evolution as humans. Hearing lets us perceive the same word even when spoken at different speeds or pitches, and also gives us extra sensitivity to unexpected sounds. Now, new studies from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania clarify how these two crucial features of audition are managed by the brain. [More]
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