This is what essay should contain –
a. Background and history of Synthetic Neurobiology and specifically Optogenetics
b. Applications the teams brainstormed considered
c. Identification of constraints, criteria, and specifications used to make final recommendation (2-3 applications).
d. Description of how the recommendation (2-3 applications) might be tested and further researched.
e. Expected outcome of implementing team’s recommendations.
Synthetic Neurobiology is a broad study of how our nervous system operates to create sensations and the functioning of the brain to perceive those sensations. It is a field that researches the functions and behavior of different neuron media in completing their various functions of augmenting cognition, repairing pathology and revealing insights of the physical conditions. The study focuses on understanding and controlling the neural circuits in the brain and creating technologies that target specific circuits to help improve the operation of the mammalian brain. Optogenetics, on the other hand, is a scope of study that seeks to use light in controlling these neural circuits. It is a field that seeks to develop easy ways of curing various psychiatric diseases using light By understanding the neurobiology of the brain and the neural circuits of the brain; it is possible to use optogenetics to control these neurons and to control the behavior of being. Optogenetics is a technology that seeks to control the precisely defined events in the neural circuits of the being using optical control. The ability to control this creates a field for curing nervous and psychiatric diseases using optical impulses in the body.
The study of optogenetics can be traced back to 1979 when Nobel laureate Francis Crick, advocated for a need to control specific cells in the human brain without affecting the rest of the brain cells. The conclusion was that electrical impulses could not do that because electricity was a crude method of obtaining regulating the impulses in cells. Drugs, on the other hand, were too slow and did not meet the operational needs of the brain. There was, therefore, need to create a method of controlling these cells without affecting the rest. This was a step of progress that had developed from the concept of bacteriorhodopsin, which sought to use opsin genes that extracted energy and information from light microbes. Walther Stoeckenius and Dieter Oesterhelt had developed bacteriorhodopsin, which could be activated by photons of green light. In 1977, Halorhodopsin, which was a more stable catalyst than Bacteriorhodopsin, was defined. In 2002, channelrhodopsins, which were better and more stable than bacteriorhodopsin and Halorhodopsin, were discovered and they formed the basis of progressive research in optogenetics. In 2005, the discovery of the first Microbial Opsin genes that could confer to neurons without any complication became a landmark step in the development of optogenetics. These microbial had the ability to detect light and play the role of a high-speed effector in a targeted module. These could later be tested on moving mammals in 2007 and work effectively. This formed a basis for the development of optogenetics, which used bacteriorhodopsin, Halorhodopsin, and channelrhodopsins in as fast-moving optogenetics tools in neurons. The study developed and in 2010, the study targeted opsin engineering in targeting specific areas to help treat various brain diseases.
The applications of opogenetics are limitless in the body. Opogenetics works on the principles of using optics and genetics as a tool of controlling the activities of certain cells. The application of this technology relies on the behavior of different cells once exposed to light. The impulses that take place in a cell after exposure to light make it easy to control their behavior and monitor their characteristics. This technology works by delivering light to the cells of interest and ensuring that you target particular cells in a tissue. Targeting of the cells will depend on the neural circuits of a particular tissue. After targeting particular cells and one should be able to obtain definite readouts that will give information about the behavior of the cells and make treatment of such cells easy. The readouts form these opogenetic readings, provide a system for the treatment of a tissue. It is important to note that all cellular events are influenced by events occurring in the tissue, the organism, or the environment as a whole. Therefore studying the behavior of particular cells provides an insight into ways of treating the whole tissue.
Opogentics depended on three chemical stimulants working together. Initially, the use of one chemical stimulant proved to be unusable as the it would kill the weak and fragile cells causing damage to the tissue. Despite the fact that cells work by producing visible light that is gated in proteins to regulate the flow of ions, the use of one such protein, either bacteriorhodopsin, or Halorhodopsin, would damage the cell. However, the use of these substances void of the chemicals provided a higher rate of survival of the mammalian cells. The use of the microbial opsin gene without the chemicals made the cells respond to light. However, the addition of bacteriorhodopsin, Halorhodopsin, and channelrhodopsin gave the gene more control of the cell as it turned on and off the neurons without damaging them. With their use they proved to work effectively even on the mammalian brain tissue providing an incredible new way of dealing with the delicate brain cells without damaging them.
The use of this technology provides an incredible variety of opportunities of dealing with with human and animal cells. One of the possible use of opogenetics , is curing some of the diseases thought incurable at the moment. One of such diseases is the Parkinson disease and epilepsy. These diseases are stimulated in the nervous system of a human being. They can treated by deep brain stimulation (DBS), which poses less danger to the brain cells. The use of opogenetics in this approach will enable safe and permanent treatment of these disorders. Opognetics also provide a platform for future ability to restore sight to blind people. Research shows that through opogentics, the sensitivity of the retina of the mammalian eye can be restored. With the development of such a milestone, the possibility of using opognetics to cure blindness becomes a possibility. Opogentics also provide an avenue to further studies of the brain as it provides insights on the neural circuits of the brain. With an understanding of the normal functioning of the brain the cure for most diseases of the nervous system can be developed.
One of the major benefits of opognetics is the
development of neuroengineering. This scope understands the physics behind the
nervous system of the mammalian beings. The development of opogentics will
enable the cure o various illnesses at the cell level. It will help analyze the
behavior of cells when exposed to various conditions and the possible ways of
reversing such consequences. It also provides a ray of hope to people suffering
terminal illnesses that lack cure. With the use of oppogentics, the development
of such cures is on the way. The technology used to restore the sensitivity of
the retina can also be used to cure other sensitivity diseases. Opogentics
provides a optimistic future of endless possibilities.
Optogenetics : Nature Methods : Nature Publishing Group. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v8/n1/full/nmeth.f.324.html
Optogenetics: Controlling the Brain with Light [Extended Version] – Scientific American. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/optogenetics-controlling/