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Researchers Use LCD Projectors to Control Worm Brains

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a way to use modified LCD projectors to control the brains and muscles of small creatures such as worms -- provided they've been properly genetically modified. Using red, green and blue lights emitted by a projector, the researchers were able to activate light-sensitive proteins engineered within the subject organisms, triggering neurons to fire and muscles to contract. The experiments were fairly rudimentary; for example, a particular color of light projected on the rear of a tiny Caenorhabditis elegans worm compels it to move forward, and a different color of light on the head makes it turn in a specific direction. Until now, though, such light-based body control has required implanting optic fibers directly into an animal's brain. It's not clear whether the technique will scale to larger creatures (as the Caenorhabditis elegans had to be placed under a microscope for proper monitoring), so don't expect mind-controlling light arrays to start popping up on battlefields anytime soon.


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Tags: brain, georgia tech, GeorgiaInstituteOfTechnology, GeorgiaTech, lcd, MindControl, science, top, WormBrains