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Researchers Influence Activity Of Nerve Cells With Laser Light, Ruhr-University Study  
7/22/2011 8:44:19 AM

Unlike conventional methods, with the so-called optogenetics, the researchers are able to target one cell type. "We are now going to use this method to find out exactly what goes wrong in the nerve cells in movement disorders such as ataxias", said Prof. Dr. Stefan Herlitze (RUB Department for Biology and Biotechnology). The researchers report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The Bochum team examined a specific signalling pathway that is controlled by a so-called G-protein-coupled receptor. This pathway is important for the modulation of activity in complex neuronal networks. Disturbances of the function can, for example, have an effect on emotional and motor behaviours.
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