EDITORIAL: We have heard for decades accounts by Alien abductees that they were somehow “mind controlled” – some have even mentioned a light being shined on them.
Could this new groundbreaking research out of MIT and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Switzerland be real proof which confirms this science really does exist? [CCS]
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 30, 2014 — A new molecule, along with optogenetics, has put brain control in the hands of scientists.
Researchers from MIT developed the protein, which is sensitive to red light and enables neurons to be manipulated noninvasively, as the controlling light source is outside the body. In addition, the new protein opsin allows a larger volume of tissue to be influenced simultaneously.
In their experiments, the researchers were able to essentially shut down neural activity in the brains of mice using a light source outside the skull. This suppression of activity penetrated as deeply as 3 mm into the brain.
The new technique was found to be as effective as existing neural silencers, which use other colors of light and rely on invasive methods, such as implanted optical fibers.
The researchers have been searching for a noninvasive alternative to study neurons, first looking into naturally occurring microbes and other organisms that already use opsins to detect light. They identified two light-sensitive chloride ion opsins as a possibility because they respond to red light, which has been shown to penetrate deeper into living tissue than blue or green light.
However, the researchers found that these did not produce enough photocurrent to control neuron activity.
To overcome this challenge, Amy Chuong, a graduate student at MIT and one of the researchers on this study, engineered a relative of chloride ion. Called Jaws, the new protein retains the same red light sensitivity, but also features a stronger photocurrent.
“This exemplifies how the genomic diversity of the natural world can yield powerful reagents that can be of use in biology and neuroscience,” said Edward Boyden, an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT and leader of this study.
The MIT team furthered its study beyond the basic neural control, in collaboration with researchers at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Switzerland, next testing Jaws’ ability to restore the light sensitivity of retinal cone cells.
They examined mice suffering from… [FINISH READING]