By Alexandra Ossola
Researchers have a hard time understanding how tiny changes to networks of neurons in an animal’s brain can affect its behavior. Now a team of researchers has figured out a way to tinker with the neural networks of mice in real time, using a wireless controller that can both shine light on the brain and deliver drugs to it. The device even lets scientists control the movements of their test mice from afar.
In this recent study, published last week in Cell, researchers tested a device made of soft materials and just one-tenth the width of a human hair—much less invasive than the devices typically used in drug injection experiments. The devices were also hooked up to tiny batteries so that they didn’t need to be attached to wires and contained reservoirs of the drugs or viruses that they wanted to test so that they could be injected wirelessly.
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