[Paleopsych] Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Tue May 31 13:41:32 UTC 2005


May 30, 2005
 <http://www.physorg.com/newsletter> <http://www.physorg.com/newsletter> 
 <http://www.physorg.com/printnews.php?newsid=4321>Until now it has been 
impossible to accurately measure the levels of important chemicals in 
living brain cells in real time and at the level of a single cell. 
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology and 
Stanford University are the first to overcome this obstacle by successfully 
applying genetic nanotechnology using molecular sensors to view changes in 
brain chemical levels. The sensors alter their 3-dimensional form upon 
binding with the chemical, which is then visible via a process known as 
fluorescence resonance energy transfer, or FRET. In a new study, the 
nanosensors were introduced into nerve cells to measure the release of the 
neurotransmitter glutamate -- the major brain chemical that increases 
nerve-cell activity in mammalian brains. 	

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