Georgia Tech graduate student Jeffrey Stirman, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering associate professor Hang Lu, and graduate student Matthew Crane (left-right) (Image: Gary Meek)
A sequence of images showing what happens when Georgia Tech researchers illuminate the head of a worm expressing light-sensitive optogenetic reagents. The light produces a coiling effect in the head and causes the worm to crawl in a triangular pattern
Genetically engineered remote controlled animals ... what the? Using inexpensive and widely available technology combined with the latest techniques in optogenetics, researchers at Georgia Tech have created exactly that. Optogenetics is a mix of optical and genetic techniques that has allowed scientists to gain control over brain circuits in laboratory animals. Mary Shelly would be proud – or totally freaked out. But don't expect remote controlled poodles or parrots in your nearest pet store by Christmas, this might be a few years off.
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