Jul 28, 2022

Neuroengineers hack fruit fly brain and remotely control its movements

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, cybercrime/malcode, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

A research team led by Rice University neuroengineers has created wireless technology to remotely activate specific brain circuits in fruit flies in under one second.

The team – an assemblage of experts in genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and electrical engineering – used magnetic signals to activate targeted neurons that controlled the body position of freely moving fruit flies in an enclosure.

The researchers first created genetically modified flies bred to express a special heat-sensitive ion channel in neurons that cause flies to partially spread their wings, a common mating gesture. They then injected magnetic nanoparticles that could be heated with an applied magnetic field.

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