Yale researchers use laser light to remote control flies

New Haven, Conn. Scientists at Yale have genetically designed triggers in the brains of fruit flies that allow the flies' behavior to be controlled with laser light, according to an article in the April 8 issue of the journal Cell.

In some experiments the light controls were engineered to alter how the flies jump, beat their wings and fly in an escape response. In other experiments, the light controls were used to activate dopamine neurons that stimulated walking and affected the types of paths the flies chose to follow. Loss of dopamine cell activity in humans underlies Parkinson's disease, a movement disorder.

Unfocused laser light was used to "broadcast" the signal to genetically engineered "phototriggers" that were expressed only in specific groups of cells. Changing conditions of the light pulses altered the activity level of the flies and the direction of their flight. These responses to laser light demonstrated a direct link between specific neurons and specific behaviors.

Gero Miesenbck, associate professor of cell biology at Yale, and principal investigator of the study, explained that the photoreceptors are ion channels that spark action potentials when illuminated. Depending on which neurons are light-sensitive, the remote-controlled flies jump, fly or change their walking patterns on command.

"The ability to control brain functions non-invasively opens many new possibilities for the analysis of neural circuits, the search for the cellular substrates of behavior, and, possibly even restoring function after injury or disease," said Miesenbck "This is a significant step toward moving neuroscience to active and predictive manipulation of behavior."

But, is it mind control? The authors demonstrate that even headless flies take mindful flight if the correct set

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
Yale University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Innovative tagging technique may help researchers better protect fish stocks
2. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
3. ASU researchers partner with UOP to make biofuel for military jets a reality
4. Einstein researchers prototype vaccine could provide improved protection against tuberculosis
5. Penn researchers discover pathway that eliminates genetic defects in red blood cells
6. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
7. 2007 EURYI: 20 young researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards for breakthrough ideas
8. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
9. MGH researchers confirm that bone marrow restores fertility in female mice
10. Smithsonians National Zoo researchers use electronic eggs to help save threatened species
11. U-M researchers identify gene involved in breast cancer

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
(Date:10/26/2015)...  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on bringing ... devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris recognition ... by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... to include iris recognition technology, after a very successful ... May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this capability. ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface solutions, today reported ... --> --> Net revenue for ... comparable quarter last year to $470.0 million. Net income for the ... diluted share. --> --> ... 39 percent over the prior year period to $56.9 million, or ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to ... researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> www.aezsinc.com . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- --> --> ... Market by Product & Services (Primer, Probe, Custom Oligos, ... End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic Labs) - Global ... expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million by 2020 from ... 10.1% during the forecast period. Browse 183 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive Council, ... Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV racing has ... type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community because ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: