Brain zapping

By Robert Hickson 04/03/2014


It could be that the Tin foil hat brigade are right after all. Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have played around with fly mating behaviour by shooting a laser at their brain. This follows on from work implanting false memories in mice using the same technique – optogenetics.

source: wikimedia commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASocktroll_conspiracy_theorist.jpg
source: wikimedia commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASocktroll_conspiracy_theorist.jpg

Since optogenetics currently relies on genetically modifying the appropriate nerve cells, this isn’t a technique that is going to leave the lab anytime soon. But there is a lot of interest in developing clinical applications for humans.

In other brain + laser-related futuristic news, Michio Kaku, in his book The Future of the Mind, suggests that one day we’ll shoot our minds out into space with lasers. Not for the hell of it, but as a way of becoming immortal of course. All very Borgian.