I haven’t done a Neurosciency Friday post in forever, partly because in the last couple of months I moved, started a new job, and generally neglected doing all sorts of things in favor of eating copious amounts of baked goods, accidentally tripling pancake recipes (and tweeting about it), and reading books. No worries, let’s just pick up where we left off, shall we?
A recent study published in Science found that crawfish get anxious just like humans. I get anxious looking at crawfish; someone explain that to me, please.
Neuroeconomics research out of Caltech confirms the sage advice of investment magnate Warren Buffet: “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy only when others are fearful.”
Optogenetics is a new technology, first described in 2005 and invented at Stanford University, that allows researchers to control gene expression using light. In a previous post, I wrote about using optogenetics to study fear memories in mice. But how does it work? Well…
In the last 10 years, neuroscience has been transformed by a remarkable new technology called optogenetics. Caltech researchers were able to insert a genetically modified light-sensitive gene into specific cells at particular locations in the brain of a living, breathing, feisty, and occasionally canoodling male mouse. Using a hair-thin fiber-optic thread inserted into that living brain, they could then turn the neurons in the hypothalamus on and off with a burst of light.
You can read more about optogenetics on the Technology Review website.
Scientists at the University of Vermont used machine learning to identify factors that could predict binge drinking in adolescents. The study is published in the journal Nature.
The Gates Foundation is funding a $4.6-million project that aims “to develop a personal system that enables women to regulate their fertility.” The grant funds a startup called MicroCHIPS that wants to create an implantable, remote-controlled device that delivers birth control medication for 16 years and can be switched on and off.
Have a great weekend!