Hi Behi, I think a similar technique is in use already for a while in whole mount mouse embryos. Whole mount in-situ hybridizations in 12 hour intervals revealed amazing details on the gene-regulation during ontogenesis and organe patterning. The series of whole-mount in-situ hybridazations on translucent embryos produced almost a time-lapse movie of the dynamics of mammalian development. There is currently a revolution going on in the life-science field, with the introduction of the parameter "TIME" in all experiments. It will open up a completely new understanding on the processes, how one element gives rise to another one, and what are causes and what are consequence. The rather static view that we have on the brain will also change to a more dynamic understanding. There is currently a novel method called opto-genetic, where by transgenic introduction of bacterio-rhodopsine ion-chanels into mouse neurons one can induced neuronal signals by short laser pulses, and the propagation of these pulses can by followed in-vivo from neuron to neuron. An absolute dramatic technique, I think.best regards, Michael
Hi Michael, you're right, this is not the first time but this one captured so much attention and got its way into Nature. Opto-genetic is truly amazing, one of the techniques started being used by other people in our lab as well. Thanks for taking your time and writing in here, appreciate that.
Hi Behdokht, I think that even Barack Obama understood the challenge of a detailed functional understanding of the human brain. I heard that the US government provided a huge funding for the human connectome project. I am wondering how philosophers will consider this new technical developments. Over the centuries, philosophers always argued that a human being will never fully understand human consciousness. They paraphrased it as the human brain studying the human brain, what seems to be a self-referring system that always gets locked in undecided states (the paradox of self-referential systems in the incompleteness theorem of K.Goedel) . But I am very optimistic that at least neurological diseases and mental disorders might be better understood and more efficient therapies developed for the patients. best regards, Michael(btw. the term "connectome" is so new, that blogspots spell checker still marks it as an unknown word. But it also marks "Blogspot" itself an unknown word. Really strange)
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