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Scientists have built an 'off switch' for the brain

Scientists Discover 'Off Switch' For Brain

Researchers say they've been able to develop an "off switch" for brains using light pulses.

Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute used a technique known as "optogenetics" to shut off certain neurons in the brains cultured from rats. It's the reversal of a process first discovered in 2005 - when flashes of light were able to turn on neurons.

Researchers developed two new proteins which can be added to neurons in the brain. The MIT Technology Review explains those neurons then shut off when reacting to small light pulses.

But why would you want to shut off neurons in a human brain?

The Independent reports perfecting of the "optogenetics" process could eventually help treat different neurological disorders like epilepsy.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health funded the research and said the development " ... is like going from a squirt to a gushing hose."

And a scientist from Rockefeller University told The New York Times, "Optogenetics is the most revolutionary thing that has happened in neuroscience in the past couple of decades."

Scientists say they are hopeful the study's findings can help them improve work on animals like rats and even primates.

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Tonia Lynn April 28 2014 at 10:15 AM

rats and primates....someday, humans....once again AOL, way to give a false headline, just to get us to read the article, but it worked i guess...getting really old though!

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Charles April 28 2014 at 9:47 AM

Way to late, just get on the freeway at rush hour, you want to see some brains turned off.

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cvanac8550 Charles April 28 2014 at 12:39 PM

LOL..............SO very funny comments here.................

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1 reply
cvanac8550 cvanac8550 April 28 2014 at 12:48 PM


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madddddddddddddd April 28 2014 at 12:59 PM

it seems ii have done at times in my life.........................

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cvanac8550 April 28 2014 at 12:42 PM

So I guess they started experimenting with this therapy already...just read the political posts on AOL.........................

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skooli April 28 2014 at 12:33 PM

Marijuana seems to do the same thing.

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wlewan60 April 28 2014 at 11:05 AM

I wish they would have had that a couple years ago to cure Trigeminal Neuralgis so I wouldn't have had Gamma Knife surgury.

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amikebec April 28 2014 at 10:32 AM

'off switch' for the brain'... uhhhh, the government should like that one.... What they should do is find and distribute the "ON Switch" and get congress to use it...!!!

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cvanac8550 amikebec April 28 2014 at 12:46 PM

The government already has it its called Kim Kardashian and whatever her boyfriends name is..The country seems to be more interested in these nobody's then what goes on in Washington.........

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Franco April 28 2014 at 11:52 PM

Now...if they can find out how to styfle me wife. :O)

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1 reply
Franco Franco April 28 2014 at 11:53 PM

Hey you, stop favoring yerswlf! :O)

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jcbstz April 28 2014 at 10:34 AM

I wish someone would turn of Obama's brain so he couldn't weigh in so much. He is a black racist

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liontwin33 jcbstz April 28 2014 at 11:50 AM

Have you overdosed on your tea again? As usual, the losers always attempt to bring up politics. Get over it. You lost the last two times, and are well on your way to a 3rd., with unintelligent statements like that. Now your gal pal Palin (you know - the alaskan quitter) wants to waterboard our enemies. If you had a fraction of his brain, your latest dribble out of your mouth would not happen.

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Franco liontwin33 April 28 2014 at 11:56 PM

Get on his case for the first thing, but don't you go pickin on me girl Palin, unless you wants a lickin. :O)

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cvanac8550 jcbstz April 28 2014 at 12:36 PM

Lol .......LMAO.........I always look for the Obama comments on every article totally unrelated to him.
I'm laughing so hard I'm crying..................

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Franco cvanac8550 April 28 2014 at 11:56 PM

Styfle yerself Mildred, you are historica! :O)

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fyehfdm April 28 2014 at 10:52 AM

Everything is a goddamn science experiement...At human expense..smh

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