Taking genetics out of optogenetics

Light can be used to activate normal, non-genetically modified neurons through the use of targeted gold nanoparticles—a new technique that could hold promise for treating diseases such as macular degeneration.

“Many optogenetic experimental designs can now be applied to completely normal tissues or animals, greatly extending the scope of these research tools and possibly allowing for new therapies involving neuronal photostimulation.”

Neuron 2015.02.033

Bioelectricity can Control Brain Development

Bioelectrical signals among cells control and instruct embryonic brain development and manipulating these signals can repair genetic defects and induce development of healthy brain tissue in locations where it would not ordinarily grow.

These bioelectric signals are implemented by changes in the voltage difference across cell membranes – called the cellular resting potential — and the patterns of differential voltages across anatomical regions.
Journal of Neuroscience 3/11/15

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