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Harvard University controls worm with laser, Worms Armageddon coming soon

January 19th, 2011        

Harvard University controls worm with laser, Worms Armageddon coming soon

Researchers at Harvard University’s Center For Brain Science have effectively controlled nematode C. elegans worms, and we wonder why they do that. The researchers managed to do so by genetically modifying a select few of their 302 neurons. They are then controlled through linking to the CoLBeRT system, which controls their locomotion and behaviour in real time.

What does that mean? Well, the scientists can manipulate movement of the worms, induce paralysis, and even cause them to lay eggs all by shining a laser that turns on and off the modified cells at will. The laser hits the worm and causes it to react as if it were being touched. According to the researchers, the reaction is similar to when light is shined in a human eye — the protein found in the worm and eyes are sensitive to different variations of rays and will respond based on the color shined. And now you know who the villain in “Heart of the Swarm” is. Kerrigan gone? No worries babe, we’ve got lasers!




SOURCE via Harvard

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