Scientists have managed to remotely control a brain, forcing test-subject mice to run, freeze in place and even lose control over their limbs, according to new research.
The study, published in the most recent edition of the journal eLife, was led by physics professor Arnd Pralle of the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences – and focused on a technique called "magneto-thermal stimulation."
Technology site BGR.com explained the science fiction-like process requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles that attach to certain neurons.
Once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled via an alternating magnetic field. When magnetic inputs are applied, the particles heat up and neurons fire up.
Using the new technique, the researchers were able to control the movement of the mice, causing them to freeze, lock up their limbs, turn around, or even run.
"This approach provides genetically and spatially targetable, repeatable and temporarily precise activation of deep-brain circuits without need for surgical implantation of any device," the scientists wrote in their abstract.
BGR reported the groundbreaking research could have far-reaching implications for human brain research — including being able to eliminate mood disorders.
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