Scientists Use Lasers To Control Flies’ Brain
March 4, 2014 11:25am PST
It would seem that the farfetched fictional idea of the technologically advanced future may just be at our doorstep. Using just a laser, scientists have now obtained the capability of controlling the minds of flies.
The process isn’t exactly as simple as it sounds as first the flies are injected with a serum that affects the fly’s brains and is only activated with heat. Once the fly has been prepped for the experiment, they are zapped with an infrared laser that scientists have dubbed the “Fly Mind-Altering Device,” or Fly MAD.
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The first chemical they used induced the use of the neurons responsible for mating. After being hit in the head with the laser, the fly subsequently flew around and began its instinctual mating ritual with the first thing it laid its eyes upon.
That something just so happened to be a ball of wax, and the fly was seen flying circles around the ball making a mating vibration sound with its wings. Shortly thereafter it landed and proceeded to mate with the ball of wax for a full 15 minutes after it was hit with the laser.
After that time had expired, the fly flew away and resumed its usual fly like tasks.
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This isn’t the first mind control test that has been completed on animals either as different scientists previously tested a theory on mice. During that test, mice were hit with light that penetrated its skin in order to activate surgically implanted fiber optic cables in the mice’s brains. Seeing how flies are significantly smaller making the implants virtually impossible, scientists had to find another way.
They did in fact do just that and are now attempting to delve deeper into the experiment. Trying to decipher and ultimately map the brain, scientists are striving to understand the, “neuronal hierarchy that governs our own brains and decision-making processes.”
Of course this may make the flies go a little crazy as they intend to do this by injecting the flies with two different contradicting compounds. For instance, the fly would be injected with one that makes it walk backwards while the other makes it walk forward. The fly would then be hit with the laser, and the test would provide scientists with significant insightful results into the brain of a fly, and potentially that of humans.
What do you guys think – could this technology one day be advanced enough to use on humans? Let us know by leaving a comment below!