Brain Science: Optogenetics and Expansion Microscopy

Here are two cutting-edge neuroscience technologies that may enable us to treat conditions like blindness, epilepsy and Alzheimer's.

Edward Boyden is a Hertz Foundation Fellow and recipient of the prestigious Hertz Foundation Grant for graduate study in the applications of the physical, biological and engineering sciences. A professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, Edward Boyden explains how expansion microscopy is helping us to understand how the brain is wired, and how human therapies will benefit. He also tackles optogenetics — a technology that controls cells with light — which he hopes will restore the eyesight of the blind, dial back Alzheimer’s disease, and shut down epilepsy seizures. With the support of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, he pursued a PhD in neurosciences from Stanford University.

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Cannabis Compound to Be Reclassified as Medicine in the UK

Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) can help with epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, and even schizophrenia. 

 

Medical marijuana advocate makes cannabis oil.

Cannabinoids are certain chemical compounds found only in cannabis. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is (THC) is the most commonly recognized. This is what gives users that telltale euphoric feeling. THC may also play a role, should medical marijuana continue to become mainstream, as a painkiller. In fact, one study found that those states that passed a medical marijuana law saw a drop in opioid painkiller-related deaths.

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