Optogenetics To Regulate Sonogenetics

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Sonogenetics is the use of sound waves to control neurons and other cells in the body, where as optogenetics is a light-based approach to manipulate neurons and other cells in the body. Optogenetics is when researchers add light-sensitive channel proteins to a neuron they wish to study. Salk Institute scientists shine a laser on the cell to activate or silence the target neuron. This approach can be difficult when studying cells deep in the brain; surgeons have to implant a fiber optic cable that can reach all the cells. Avoiding surgery, surgeons tried using sound waves to active calcium sensitive cells, similar to any cell in any organism, through microbubbles injected in the blood stream and distributed throughout the body of a nematode.

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