Friday, December 15, 2006

Optogenetics: Optics & Genetics Combine to Stimulate and Visualize the Nervous System

From Science news this week:
Shining New Light on Neural Circuits
by Greg Mille

"When researchers from Yale University reported last year that they'd used a laser to activate neurons in fruit flies and in turn control the insects' behavior, even Jay Leno thought it was cool. In a skit, the Tonight Show host pretended to use a remote-controlled fly to harass President George W. Bush during a speech. "I thought it was actually quite funny," says Gero Miesenböck, the neuroscientist who led the study. A video clip of Leno's skit elicited chuckles when Miesenböck played it during a presentation at October's meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Atlanta, Georgia." [more from Science]

IMAGE: An optical fiber delivers light to stimulate photosensitive neurons deep in a mouse's brain. (from Science 15 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5806, pp. 1674 - 1676)

CREDIT: ALEX ARAVANIS AND KARL DEISSEROTH/STANFORD

To read abstracts from the Mini Symposium on Optogenetics at the Society for Neurocience, October 2006, go to the Society's annual meeting website http://www.sfn.org/am2006/, select the neuroscience meeting planner, then search for Miesenbock as author in the advanced search.

2 comments:

Courtney Thomas said...

Do you know where i can find the skit on the tonight show. I can not find it anywhere.

Alison Ricker said...

Suggest you contact the researcher who showed the skit at the Society for Neuroscience Oct. 2006 meeting: gero.miesenboeck@dpag.ox.ac.uk. My guess is that the skit came from a 2005 episode of The Tonight Show, given the wording of the news article in Science online.