Yes, But Can I Use It To Gain An Army Of Minions?

Strange article on Wired today about scientists using lasers to control human thought behavior.  Yes, I know they are talking all kinds of pretty words about healing the sick and all that.  But this has all the wrappings of a super villain weapon, if harnessed properly of course.  And I could harness it very well.  I mean seriously, could you imagine what you could do if you replaced the regular lasers at a massive or big show with mind control lasers?  Muahahah.  Er.  Uh….

Either way, it’s worth a quick read:

Flashes of light may one day be used to control the human brain, and that day just got a lot closer.

Using lasers, researchers at the MIT Media Lab were able to activate a specific set of neurons in a monkey’s brain. Though the technique has been used to control and explore neural circuits in fish, flies and rodents, this is the first time the much-hyped technology has ever been used in primates.

“It paves the way for new therapies that could target a number of psychiatric disorders,” said MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden, who led the research with postdoctoral fellow Xue Han. “This is very exciting from a translational standpoint.”

The beauty of this optogenetic technique is its specificity. By using a combination of lasers and genetic engineering, scientists can control, to the millisecond, the firing of a specific class of neurons, allowing them to pinpoint problematic cells and circuits while leaving innocent bystanders alone, thus minimizing potential side effects.

Viruses are engineered to infect neurons with a special type of channel, originally discovered in algae, which is sensitive to blue light. Once a blue laser shines on the infected neurons, the channels snap open, ions rush into the cell, and the neuron fires.

Read more at the source link here.

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