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Light Helps Injured Mice Walk Again

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the blinded-me-with-science dept.

Science 92

Mantrid42 writes "Researchers have been able to affect the brains of lab mice using light. Working in a new field called Optogenetics (optical stimulation plus genetic engineering), scientists injected lab mice with genes that can stimulate or inhibit neural activity based on the color of the light they're exposed to, and can be targeted to infect only on certain cell types. Additionally, another gene has been added to make neurons glow green when firing, allowing two-way communication between a brain and a machine."

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:O (5, Funny)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831125)

Does that make them..... Optical Mice?

Re::O (1)

Vovk (1350125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831137)

somebody mod this man a cookie.


and a +5 awesome

Re::O (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831401)

Maybe this technology can help this man walk again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s_40rM_L0s&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

so sadly funny.

Re::O (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831175)

Bravo - that was actually a good first post. :-)

Re::O (4, Funny)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831207)

Awesome.

I was just sitting here, bored, opened a browser to take a look at slashdot to see if anything interesting had popped up since I last checked 10 minutes ago, and I see this story with only a few comments and figure, 7? Theres got to be something funny in there by now.

And here it is. Priceless, just freaking priceless.

Same here... (1)

CrimsonScythe (876496) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832269)

Only I was expecting somebody to say something like:

If light helps healing, it's a good thing we're shielded from harm in our mothers' dank, dark basements...

Re::O (5, Funny)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831221)

They may be optical, but if you grab one and look underneath you might still find a ball or two.

Re::O (3, Funny)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832505)

I guess you will find an average of one ball per mouse.

Re::O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29836175)

Or at least a green-glowing hole :O

Re::O (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831365)

give them lasers and they'll be laser mices!

Re::O (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831389)

Dont you mean frikin' lasers on their frikin' heads.

Re::O (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831553)

The most disturbing thing about the article linked is that it end with the phrase "And it all began with pond scum."

Re::O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831993)

No, but exposure to the light of our yellow sun may render them Super-mice! I pray to Kirby that our nation has a good stockpile of mouse-sized kryptonite for the coming crisis.

And hey, how come this story isn't tagged "superman" anyway? Not enough comic book nerds here to notice the "genes triggered by exposure to certain colors of light" bit and tag appropriately?

Re::O (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29835265)

And hey, they're wireless too!

Re::O (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29836299)

Wireless green optical mice

Re::O (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842751)

If the injury was Burns, then you'd get

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie

I got a pussy in my panties (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831129)

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong
She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong

I got a pussy in my panties
I got a pussy in my panties
I got a pussy in my panties
I got a pus- I got a pus- I got a pussy pussy pussy

Got a pussy in my panties
Im just right
Got a clam in my cloth
It's a curious sight
I got a pussy in my panties
Wet and tight
Wrap my thong around your dick
And put your dick in my eye.

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong
She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong
She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong

I got a pussy in my panties
Wet and dank
The nasty secretions
Make my underwear stank
I got a pussy in my panties
Soft and pink
Put your head between my legs
And have yourself a drink.

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong
She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong
She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong

See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me - I Can WALK !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831143)

See Me
Feel Me
Touch Me
Heal Me

See Me
Feel Me
Touch Me
Heal Me

See Me Feel Me
Touch Me
Heal Me

Listening to you, I get the music
Gazing at you, I get the heat
Following you, I climb the mountain
I get excitement at your feet

Right behind you, I see the millions
On you, I see the glory
From you, I get opinion
From you, I get the story

Listening to you, I get the music
Gazing at you, I get the heat
Following you, I climb the mountain
I get excitement at your feet

Right behind you, I see the millions
On you, I see the glory
From you, I get opinion
From you, I get the story

Side Effects (2, Funny)

allknowingfrog (1661721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831155)

The operation is a real breakthrough for crippled mice everywhere, but they have to avoid kaleidoscopes for the rest of their lives...

Re:Side Effects (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831179)

You sir are a racist.

Retrofit (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831173)

Additionally, another gene has been added to make neurons glow green when firing, allowing two-way communication between a brain and a machine."

I know that changes to genes generally have to go into the cells when they are growing, but I wonder if the mechanism which does this could be manually installed in the nervous system (so to speak) so that living organisms (me) could export their brain activity as pulses of green light.

Re:Retrofit (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831363)

In principle, at any rate, it should be. Viruses are constantly hot-patching cells to modify their behavior, that is how they survive and multiply. A suitably modified virus could presumably be made to carry this particular payload. Not something you'd want to use prior to extensive testing(injecting viruses into someone's brain not being an obviously safe procedure); but it isn't implausible.

Re:Retrofit (5, Informative)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831449)

Actually, most forms of gene therapy don't require growing cells to work. If you use a virus to carry the genes of interest into the cell, your cell will read the inserted DNA just as if it were your own. There are two routes you can go with viral vectors. You can use a retrovirus, which will actually insert genes into your permanent genome, which will cause those genes to be copied and passed on if the infected cells divide. Or you can use adenoviruses or adeno-associated viruses, which can give genes to infected cells, but those genes will not be passed on. The retroviral approach carries added risks of inserting genes in the wrong places (causing some cases of leukemia in clinical trials), and having genes pass to dividing cells is of little benefit if you want to infect the neurons of an adult brain.

Of course, adeno-type viruses (either a weakened or non-pathogenic strain is used) are not without risk, particularly if you're planning to use them to infect your brain- meningitis seems like it'd be a real concern here. Right now, viral vector gene therapy is at the level of being an early experimental treatment for conditions like cancers and inherited immunodeficiencies- making your thoughts produce light would be a very off-label use.

Re:Retrofit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832911)

So if the virus became contagious, does this mean you'd pull an agent smith and infect people with your DNA and make clones of yourself? :)

Re:Retrofit (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831563)

If you'd bother to read the article you'd discover that's exactly what they're doing.

I recommend it, it's a good read.

Re:Retrofit (1)

British (51765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831625)

So scientists just invented the mouse version of Green Lantern?

Re:Retrofit (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832125)

So they could be weak against some yellow cheeses?

Re:Retrofit (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834121)

If what the mouse is seeing shows as a surface in the brain, then we have a green screen.

Would dreaming show as mouse cartoons?

I'm waiting for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831177)

Laser Mice...

What a neat idea (2, Insightful)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831185)

what a neat idea this and a laser at the right wavelengths(s) could manipulate a transparent surface of connected neurons very nicely, and like multi layer dvd technology, they could probably stack the layers. never heard of anything like this before.

Re:What a neat idea (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831205)

Are you suggesting creating some kind of mouse neuron ASIC?

Re:What a neat idea (2, Interesting)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831261)

yes in a way.. here's what i'm pondering. ounce for ounce, heat generated, how does the metabolism of a group of neurons stack up against computational elements taking the same space? Could you use the self orgainzing properties of neurons grown on a lab on a chip to connect in just the right way? Neurons are "better" at finding real world thresholds then there purely mathematical counterparts; i might say, more stable to me. Probably because they employ more then one method of signaling and collecting internally; chemical, electrical, inhibiting, unhibiting, etc. many states at once. perhaps if you could mass produce these and count on their self-assembly, you *could* make enough of it to be useful

i'm aware that computational simulation is often faster then taking a biological neuron _now_, but such a "computer" would be a wonderful platform for testing and learning about how neurons really *work* - it's like incredibly complex constraint system in programming (i mean, constraining one value to the value of something else)

Re:What a neat idea (2, Insightful)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831209)

...and all the recent micro-fluidic lab-on-a-chip research could be the substrate that keeps the neurons alive. a Neuron Cube Computer. What is really neat is that it is the *computer* that can by reading the firing of one level, provide inputs to the next, completely controlling propagation of learning. Just thought i'd post that bit of dreaming too.

Re:What a neat idea (1)

Wargames (91725) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834503)

Now if we can get these lights to emit coherent low-divergence beams and infect sharks' heads...

Makes sense (1)

shadowblaster (1565487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831243)

This puts a lot of sense into the phrase "he is a bright person". Literally when you do a lot of thinking, your brain will shine.

Re:Makes sense (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831421)

Not to rain on the parade, but electrical activity does not correlate with "intelligence". Otherwise all epileptics would be super-gifted during their fits...

Re:Makes sense (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832349)

Perhaps they are. Unfortunately, we will never find out. :P

Re:Makes sense (1)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831985)

It will make some pretty funky disco lights - and perhaps it could solve the mystery of the Deceased Salmon responds to portraits of people [newscientist.com]

So... (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831249)

Could this then actually lead to the 'chip in the brain' concept and create a human/robot hybrid? This is getting into some scary territory...

Re:So... (2, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831341)

This is getting into some scary territory...

It's a little disorienting at first, but after a few segfaults and cold boots you get used to it.

Re:So... (1)

Vovk (1350125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831855)

just don't download any DRMed software into your brain and WHATEVER you do, don't install windows!

Re:So... (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834337)

...and just grit your teeth and think happy thoughts when your doctor approaches you with a USB stick.

Re:So... (1)

keatonguy (1001680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841981)

What's so frightening about a mind-machine interface? I've dreamed of breakthroughs like this most of my life!

To be able to replace parts of my body just as easily as I can swap out a part on a car or a computer, the power to build a better human... Just imagine if they could develop this effectively enough that you could literally link your mind to another, or to a machine, to the net! Both the practical applications and the philosophical implications are staggering.

Re:So... (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842001)

The phrase, "With great power, comes great risk," seems to apply.

Health Care Reform NOW! (-1, Offtopic)

bXTr (123510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831343)

Damn, these mice get better health care than us.

Welcome to the Dollhouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831411)

Any other dollhouse watchers out there see the connection. Whats next? Freeze rays?

For anyone who read the article (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831445)

This is the DNI we've been waiting for... The surgeon pops open your skull, injects some strategic locations with some gene altering viruses and installs some flashing lights. Now you can do two-way communication with a computer. What you experience depends on which cells were modified, and what program you're running. With sufficient funding for targeted research, we could see this technology in new kinds of: cochlear implants for the deaf, vision implants for the blind, artificial limb control and feeling for amputees.. and the continued improvement of those technologies will eventually lead to full sensation virtual reality immersion for anyone who can afford it. And we haven't even gotten into the gritty details of what we can learn about the brain using this technology.. reverse engineering is so much easier when you can poke as well as peek.

Re:For anyone who read the article (3, Funny)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831561)

Oh *please*

Your over-optimistic attitude completely misses something that every slashdotter knows: The machines will eventually take control of our bodies, become our overlords, and turn us into bionic batteries. Keeanu Reeves will then be forced to die in a desperate plea to save humanity... just as it should be.

Either that or super-intelligent mice will take over the world.

We don't have room for positive attitudes here.

Re:For anyone who read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831581)

Keeanu Reeves will then be forced to die

Hollywood might face a shortage of bad actors?

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831589)

or intelligent conversation it seems.

Re:For anyone who read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832017)

Or, at least, this is what was supposed to happen, until a certain fateful Thursday saw the execution of a small demolition to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Note - I have no idea how to write in the future perfect tense.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832359)

When a computer-generated life-form shows more emotions, you know it must be... Keanu Reeves. ^^

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834829)

The machines will eventually take control of our bodies, become our overlords, and turn us into bionic batteries. Keeanu Reeves will then be forced to die in a desperate plea to save humanity...

In fact, forget machines taking control of our bodies, becoming our overlords, and turning us into bionic batteries...

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844101)

Either that or super-intelligent mice will take over the world.

"will"?

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832089)

we could see this technology in new kinds of: cochlear implants for the deaf, vision implants for the blind, artificial limb control and feeling for amputees..

Yeah, but only _after_ it's available for interactive porn.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832179)

I think that moved was called 'The Matrix', I'll pass, the ending sucked.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832263)

One thing ... with regular electro-stimulation than you have to have your skull popped open. With this you only need a hole drilled into your skull. That is when the device is made by lab techs. I believe we can shrink this device (for emitting the light) to something similar to an rfid chip. If the light is intense enough it could be injected. Making it much much less invasive. Some wireless power system would be necessary that's about it. Hell inject it trough the nose and have a plug dangling out for charging.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834047)

I think it would be a lot better to find a technology to bring fiberoptic strands to the proper locations in the brain, and to generate the light with an external module. Then it could be worn or not worn, upgraded without surgery, et cetera. I'm deathly afraid of having a computer implanted in my body that controls any of my senses to any degree, because of the potential for hacking.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29835219)

The computer could be external, ie attached through the nose. But more likely it will be permanent and the functionality fixed. The Parkinson application example would flip the switch a few minutes an hour at a constant rate. No need for an external computer. If we need something more complicated then you could have feedback to the device as well (but here fiber optics would likely be needed). Completely without external changes. I do think the cooler setup would be a port in the side of the head. This would allow you to use a wired, module or wireless solution. And give you more flexibility. Something akin to a usb port.

Well before that there is an almost limitless amount of knowledge we can garner from the study of how animal brains work. We could throw 10billion dollars at this today and it would be worth every cent. It tells us as much about ourselves as genetics does. Exciting stuff.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834361)

...aaaand we're in Clippy land...

"Hi - it seems you are thinking naughty thoughts of sexy ladies. Do you want me to..."

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29835747)

Um, I'll wait until the "pop open your skull" part has been engineered away.

Really, there's no "just" about that process.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840669)

Ya know, really there is. Neurosurgeons are doing it every day. People with epilepsy are being *cured*.

Re:For anyone who read the article (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844105)

It's the oldest surgical procedure in the world!

what happens if Schrodinger's cat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831521)

encounters some of these mentally enhanced Stanford mice?

Clearly more research funding is needed (grad students: file for NSF grant).

reading much harder than stimulating (2, Interesting)

capideas (1657545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831575)

I mostly love this article, but it kinda glosses over how much more difficult it is to read out information out optically than it is to stimulate neurons with light. When you stimulate neurons you just need any ole photon, doesn't matter how many times it bounced around, or where it came from.. which is good because the brain isn't so much transparent, its kinda a milky haze. However, when you want to record optically from them you have to make an image of the neurons (unless you want all the neurons signals to get mixed together) and so you care about where all the photons came from. In order to take really effective pictures in the brain you need a fancy two photon microscope, and although some people are playing around with making tiny ones that one could potentially carry around on ones head.. they aren't really going to every be practically chronic implants for anyone, for many reasons.. but first of all you need to hook them up to a large, expensive infrared laser to make it work. That's not to say all this optical reading isn't really awesome, because scientists can make use of it to learn things about brains in more constrained situations.. i just wouldn't look to it to be the missing link in brain machine interfaces anytime soon.

It's hard to walk around in the dark (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831609)

when you're injured.

nooooo (1)

Ojuice (638639) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831661)

oh noes, now doctors will say WALK TOWARDS THE LIGHT!

READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (3, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831679)

Most amazing piece I've read on science in a long time. This makes the genome projects look like stepping stones. If you read the whole thing and can't see the amazing power of this field you will hopefully be one of the early benefactors because you need it.

Re:READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831927)

wow, you and I seem to be the only two who read it.

This is how bad Slashdot has gotten.

Re:READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (2, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832205)

You might also like an early /. article on optogenetics. It is quite amazing how new this science is. I mean look at the wikipedia article on it.

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/10/16/2345204

An interview on the piece above... interviewer is a bit daft but the researched speaks volumes.
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200910161

The /. conversation in that topic is even more pitiful, most of them complaining about perceived faults, things that were WELL addressed in the article. Pretty embarrassing. I guess once we leave networking or coding /. can be just as bad as any other site... ok, maybe not as bad as digg or youtube.

Re:READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832045)

indeed it is ridiculously cool and mind blowing in terms of possibilities!

I couldn't help but spread it on my facebook :P

Re:READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832611)

Thanks for the heads up, amazing read.

Re:READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832751)

I read the article, it's very well written, and what an *amazing* breakthrough! It's interesting how many major scientific breakthroughs were also very clever plot devices in science fiction in the past few decades.

I am sure I have seen this movie. (1)

warp_kez (711090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831783)

Or was it a TV show?

Which ever it was, humanity was almost assimilated into a collective.

Re:I am sure I have seen this movie. (1)

Vovk (1350125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831869)

I think that TV show is called "Half-Life 2"...

O.o Robo-Mouse-Headcrab-Nazi-Zombies-who-are-also-vampires!!!! We need the help of the dolphins and their sponge shaped weapons!

Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832227)

Can they make my eyes to glow red when I am angry?

Typo in TFA (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832289)

Typo in tfa url and in the summary. Optigenetics?? wth is that supposed to mean? I must be blind I'll go see an optimitrist ~_~

Re:Typo in TFA (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29833693)

it's quite obvious.

Opti = optimum = best
gene = gene
ticks = blood sucking creatures

Clearly they're using genetic engineering to optimize the reproduction and destructive power of insects.

Of All the Meddling (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832421)

The blind mice ran after the farmer's wife and got their tails cut off with a carving knife.

So we have mice that can see but can't run ... that is just the way things should be. What do they do? They get them running, and you know how this ends.

Re:Of All the Meddling (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832733)

The farmer won't dare cut off the tails of mice with frikkin lasers attached to their heads -- especially ill-tempered manic depressive mice!

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832491)

Holy paladins already knew about the curative powers of the Light :)

It's only a matter of time... (1)

Benson Arizona (933024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29833959)

..... Corp announces its latest TV screen technology. The screens, driven by photon emitting mouse brains have higher contrast and a greater viewing angle than existing OLED or OLEP screens. Furthermore, the new screens are environmentally friendly being powered only by cheese and 100% biodegradable. Dead mice are replaced easily and cheaply. The new NeuroVision screens are expected to hit the market as soon as problems with the Cat Repulsion Technology (CRT) have been ironed out.

Just in time for Holloween. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29834323)

He's alive! He's alive!!! He's alive!!!!!!

Mice overlord (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29834381)

I, for one, welcome our new optical mice overlord

This mouse cage is clean (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29834731)

Step into the light, little mouse. What? No wait!

What about free will? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29836831)

While the breakthrough is absolutely fantastic, the possible avenues for further research comes in direct conflict with free will.

If shining light on a person's brain can do a lot more things than the person brain is actually capable of, what does free will mean exactly?

What prevents a mad scientist from creating an army of human killing machines, all under the influence of light?

Re:What about free will? (1)

keatonguy (1001680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29842113)

Oh, I dunno, maybe the part where surgery and advanced genetic manipulation is required to implant this technology in even a single brain?

Crosstalk in two way links? (1)

yanko22 (207000) | more than 4 years ago | (#29836913)

A potential issue I didn't see addressed in the article - crosstalk. What happens when an outbound signal, neuronal activity triggering a light pulse, is produced at the same wavelength (color) as another is tweaked to "listen" for? Would the brain be able to compensate and filter out such signals, as this essentially creates a form of an artificial permanent link between the two? Or maybe this isn't an issue beyond, say a few hundred microns, because the energy of the outgoing photons is below the sensitivity threshold of the listening ones? Otherwise, it might not be very practical to have to deal with your left knee bending every time you think of the letter "P".

Also, in theory, how many wavelengths could different molecules be produced to fluoresce (if this is even the right term) at? Same thing for the light-sensitive ones. How wide is the sensitivity waveband? IOW, how large a bandwidth can we expect to command, in each direction? Or put in even simpler terms, how many different things can this technology be employed for, simultaneously?

Re:Crosstalk in two way links? (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 4 years ago | (#29837089)

That in interesting question. With the right tweaks, optimistically thinking, you might get optical communication between far away neurons to work. Wonder if it would be faster than the chemoelectronic one? Anyway, the first thing I'd try to do with such a brain-computer uplink would be to try and connect google to it.

At last (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29837055)

Christopher Reeve will finally be able to walk again. He should be good in the new remakes of several popular films, such as "The Night of the Living Dead".

Call me paranoid... (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29854743)

...but I'm not looking forward to the day when a few light pulses can alter human behavior. Just think about that.
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