• Scientists have designed a device that lets them remotely control the movements of their test mice. In order to understand how small changes to networks neurons can affect animal behavior, the team is using a wireless controller that can shine light and deliver drugs to the brain.
  • The battery-powered device is one-tenth the width of a human hair and made of soft materials to be as non-invasive as possible. It contained different drugs that could be wirelessly released into the mice brains. After implanting them in the brains of their test mice, they could map the neural circuits by injecting viruses that label cells with genetic dyes.
  • When the scientists injected a morphine-like drug into the part of the brain that controls motivation and addiction, the mice walked in circles. Viruses injected into this part of the brain made the neurons sensitive to light, so when researchers shined light on those neurons, the mice resided on one side of the cage.

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