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Optogenerics and Fiber Optic Rotary Joints
A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory. Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu (TED Talks)

Can we edit the content of our memories? It's a sci-fi-tinged question that Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are asking in their lab at MIT. Essentially, the pair shoot a laser beam into the brain of a living mouse to activate and manipulate its memory. In this unexpectedly amusing talk they share not only how, but -- more importantly -- why they do this.

A fiber optic rotary joint is an important part of this experiment. The fiber probe connected to the animal's head goes through a single channel fiber rotary joint so that the fiber cable won't be twisted. There should be very little friction associated with the rotation and it should be noise free. Princetel offers a couple of different models that are ideal for this application. Watch this 15 min video to see how rotary joint can help you in your optogenetics experiment.

Steve is a graduate student at MIT's Brain and Cognitive Sciences department pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience. His work focuses on finding where single memories are located throughout the brain, genetically tricking the brain cells that house these memories to respond to brief pulses of light, and then using these same flickers of light to reactivate, erase and implant memories. Xu Liu received his Ph. D. from Baylor College of Medicine. He is now a postdoctoral associate at Dr. Susumu Tonegawa's lab at MIT to continued his pursuit of memory with light there.

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