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The Strange Promises of Optogenetics

Imagine injecting yourself with a brain virus that has been modified with genes from a bioluminescenct jellyfish. Then, you zap yourself with a lazer and you're instantly the happiest you've been in your entire life. It's like you're getting a big warm hug from God. That's one of a zillion weird possibilities with Optogenetics, the science of converting light into electrical stimulus directly onto neurons. One of the latest potential applications of gene therapy, I'm not at all fooled by the "disease treatment" angle since pretty much all brain science is being funded under the auspices of treating Alzheimers or Parkinsons's these days. It's extremely obvious that should this wild technology actually work, you could stimulate any area of the brain for a wide variety of reasons.

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