The key molecule of optogenetics is a light-sensitive protein called channelrhodopsin, which is extracted from green algae. Scientists can insert channelrhodopsin into memory cells. Subsequently, scientists can even activate these with blue light which they deliver deep inside the brain with optic fibers.
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The face is a constant flow of facial expressions. We react and emote to external stimuli all the time. And it is exactly this flow of expressions that is the observable window to our inner self. Our emotions, our intentions, attitudes, moods. Why is this important? Because we can use it in a very wide variety of applications.
If we want to continue increasing the performance of our computers, we need to rethink the way we compute. And our brains are wonderful proof that impressive computations can be carried out with a very low power budget.
Why are natural compounds better than synthetic chemicals to treat diseases? We have intensively analyzed all those known compounds in the natural products, and found that these compounds have higher similarity, especially structural similarity, to human metabolites.
When lower primates form a hierarchy, those at the bottom undergo a change in their dopamine system. This makes them more likely to consume drugs in an addictive fashion. Now, if this turns out to be true of our species, that would mean that human beings are particularly vulnerable if they’re in some way dominated or don’t have any power.
What we’re trying to think about now is, take the sort of venerable light bulb and recast it as a computational appliance. So, how do we take something that’s been so remarkably successful and infuse it with computational abilities?
We used to think that sleep is a passive process caused by reduced sensory stimulation so that our normal mental and physical activities can shut down. We held this belief since the time of Aristotle, and perhaps even before that. But now we know that this idea is completely wrong.
I often try to tell people that Google is not providing information retrieval algorithms, it’s providing advertising algorithms. And that is a very important distinction when we think about what kind of information is available in these corporate-controlled spaces.