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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: optogenetics

April 2013

Miniature brain bulbs manipulate neurons

by  /  24 April 2013

A light-emitting device implanted in a mouse brain can activate neurons wirelessly, allowing researchers to control and observe the mouse’s behavior, according to a report published 12 April in Science.

February 2013

The 2003 paper proposing signaling imbalance in autism

by ,  /  26 February 2013

In 2003, John Rubenstein and Michael Merzenich first described the theory, now popular in autism, that the disorder reflects an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the brain. Takao K. Hensch and Parizad M. Bilimoria review the paper and its impact on the field.

October 2012

Video: Playing with light to manipulate the brain

by  /  17 October 2012

In a video interview at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Edward Boyden discusses new tools his lab is developing to refine optogenetics techniques.


Neuroscience in NOLA

by  /  12 October 2012

After nine long years, the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting is returning to New Orleans. And’s reporters are ready to deliver the best advances in autism research that emerge.

August 2012

Choice of light-sensitive channel alters inhibitory signals

by  /  1 August 2012

An innovative technique that uses waves of light to silence brain signaling in live animals can affect subsequent neuronal signals, according to a study published 24 June in Nature Neuroscience.

July 2012

Targeting brain microcircuits may help treat autism

by  /  10 July 2012

Understanding the function of neuronal circuits, specifically microcircuits in the prefrontal cortex and elsewhere in the brain, will play a major role in translating research findings into new autism treatments, says Vikaas Sohal.

June 2012

‘Tomato’ red molecule reports on neuronal activity

by  /  13 June 2012

A pH-sensitive red fluorescent molecule allows researchers to simultaneously monitor two different types of neuronal activity, according to a study published 27 May in Nature Neuroscience.


Radio waves turn on gene expression

by  /  6 June 2012

The heat produced by radio waves can interact with metallic nanoparticles bound to temperature-sensitive ion channels in cells, allowing researchers to remotely alter gene expression in live animals, according to a study published 4 May in Science. The technique could also be used to activate neuronal signals by manipulating calcium influx into neurons, the researchers say. 

April 2012

Chili pepper protein can alter behavior of mice

by  /  18 April 2012

By manipulating the location of a protein that detects capsaicin, the molecule responsible for the burn in hot chili peppers, researchers can activate subpopulations of neurons and alter the behavior of mice. The results were published 20 March in Nature Communications.

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Massive effort planned to map visual brain in mice

by  /  16 April 2012

A ten-year initiative announced last month by the Allen Institute for Brain Science aims to catalog the development, structure and function of neural circuits in the brain at an unprecedented level of detail.