Important Considerations in Optogenetics Behavioral Experiments

Image credit NSF, Inbal Goshen, Karl Deisseroth.
Image credit NSF, Inbal Goshen, Karl Deisseroth.

The third and final part of my three part guest blog series on Optogenetics has been published on the Addgene blog. Addgene is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making it easier for scientists to share plasmids and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to their blog! This post covers the running behavioral experiments utilizing optogenetics.

Check it out!

http://blog.addgene.org/important-consideration-in-optogenetics-behavioral-experiments

 

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The Materials Science of Optogenetics Experiments

(blog.addgene.org)
(blog.addgene.org)

The second part of my three part guest blog series on Optogenetics has been published on the Addgene blog. Addgene is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making it easier for scientists to share plasmids and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to their blog! This post covers the material science aspects of running optogenetic experiments.

Check it out!

http://blog.addgene.org/the-materials-science-of-optogenetics-experiments

Optogenetics on the Addgene Blog: Part 1

(blog.addgene.org)
(blog.addgene.org)

The first part of my three part guest blog series on Optogenetics has been published on the Addgene blog. Addgene is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making it easier for scientists to share plasmids and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to their blog!

Check it out!

http://blog.addgene.org/a-primer-on-optogenetics-introduction-and-opsin-delivery

Optogenetics in the New Yorker

Optogenetics1Excellent new article on optogenetics in The New Yorker. Optogenetics is a powerful, cutting-edge tool developed by Karl Deisseroth’s lab (profiled in the article) and is one of most significant advances in neuroscience research in decades. I recently spent two months learning the technique and we will be implementing it in the lab I work in at Rockefeller University. Optogenetics allows researchers to turn specific neurons “on” and “off” and see how those neurons are directly involved in a particular behavior. The article does a great job of profiling Deisseroth himself and explaining a little bit of the history of optogenetics and other developments in the Deisseroth lab. Enjoy!

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/18/lighting-the-brain

 

 

New Study-Deep Brain Stimulation Reverses Cocaine-induced Changes in the Brain

An interesting new study published in Science used deep brain stimulation (DBS), a technique approved for treatment of some psychiatric disorders but with an unknown therapeutic mechanism, to reverse cocaine-induced changes of the reward circuitry in the mouse brain. Using a combination of optogenetics, electrophysiology, and pharmacology, the authors were able to improve DBS in order to eliminate the behavioral sensitization to cocaine in mice. A well known  neurobiological change induced by by cocaine is a strengthening of excitatory neuronal inputs into the Nucleus Accumbens, a brain region at the core of the reward pathway. The authors showed that the DBS was able to reverse the cocaine-induced changes in the neural circuitry of the Nucleus Accumbens and this is the most likely mechanism for the effectiveness of DBS in reversing the behavioral changes caused by cocaine. The study suggests that DBS may represent a potential therapy for reversing addiction to cocaine.

You can find the link to the full paper here.

Apologies for not being able to share the pdf but I requested permission and will hopefully be able to upload it soon!