Fibre-Optic Controlled Mice

I can’t decide whether this is a mighty leap for mankind, or if it sends the needle off the edge of the insaneometer… but apparently, someone somewhere has genetically-engineered a virus to send electrical signals when exposed to light, then used these to infect a live mouse brain so when a light is shone (via implanted fibre-optic) directly onto its brain cells, it runs round in circles


(from medgadget and technovelgy)

Still… relates to a previous post about the possibility of robotics becoming another branch of biotech.

2 Comments » for Fibre-Optic Controlled Mice
  1. Mike says:

    Did you check your “insaneometer” ?

    If your mother would suffer from drug-resistance epilepsy and by this device and technology (optogenetic) you could switch off a seizure, transiently shining light through the fiber optic, you would definitely judge without reserve that this is a leap for mankind.

    If your brother or wife became progressively blind because of retinitis pigmentosa and could recover full sight, without having brain surgery or having eyes implanted with retinal prosthetics, but simply with an injection, then again your insaneometer would be forgotten inside a closet..

    Sorry for being a bit aggressive.. Mine is passion, not anger.

  2. admin says:

    If your dad was the mouse who’d had a fibre-optic implanted in his brain which caused him to run round in circles, then the insanometer would quietly be retrieved from the closet, and stuck to the front of the fridge with a magnet.

    Point taken – 1 point of perspective is worth 80 points of IQ, but maybe perspective is a two-edged sword.

    I had my first spell in hospital last year – burst appendix. Now that is pain – had the circs been a bit different it would have killed me. If I’d had the presence of mind (stretched like chewing gum between islands of morphine) I would have given thanks to all the experimentation that had gotten us to the point where I did not in fact die.

    It eclipses everything, that level of pain – it narrows perspective to the point that all you see is yourself. But (now that I have the comfort of perspective) I don’t assume for a second that humans have a monopoly on it, or even that ours is the most important.

    But yes, point taken.