Friday, December 06, 2013

How Scientists Could Watch Brain Chemicals Through The Skull

One team of researchers at Northwestern University is developing a way of tracking neurotransmitters in a living brain. Their technique, if successful, could one day allow us to non-invasively view chemical messages as they move throughout the brain. The team hopes to accomplish this by attaching chemically modified gold nanoparticles to the target chemical and using Raman (the Indian physicist, not the delicious noodles) spectroscopy to detect them. So far, the team has only carried out tests on raw lamb meat, but they have been successful at detecting the gold through bone.

I found this interesting because it is cutting edge bioengineering research. This is something that has never been done before, and if these researchers are successful the potential for learning about how neurotransmitters work will be almost limitless.



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