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)


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


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: 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.