Optogenetics Essay Topics

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Joslyn Babiera
Mrs. Klock
English 2 Honors, Period 2
8 April 2014
Optogenetics: Optimistic For A Cure
When thinking of the word optogenetics, the word optimistic comes to mind, and that is exactly what optogenetics is. This new technology is optimistic to opening new doors to help save lives step by step, find cures, and a way for doctors to find underlying causes of life-threatening diseases. The idea was first brought up by Francis Crick, who also helped discover the double helix in DNA. “Crick’s idea was that light, with its unparalleled speed and precision, could be the ideal tool for controlling neurons and mapping the brain,” (Barth 3). Optogenetics is the technique of using different colored lights and proteins to activate neurons in the brain to change the way it functions (Dougherty 1). Optogenetics has the potential to achieve medical breakthroughs which can be beneficial to the health of humans and especially people who are affected by diseases of the brain like depression, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia (Callaway 1). He believes that over time, this technique will be able to target the underlying causes and symptoms of life-threatening diseases such as: Parkinson’s disease, blindness, drug addiction, and many more. This innovation should only bring positive effects over society, as it could be a potential life saver to many. As of now this technology is only being tested in animals, but all of the experiments have been successful. With more studies and testing over time, it could soon be used in humans in less than a decade. With optogenetics already having success with the minds of animals, who knows what wonders this new technology could accomplish in the minds of humans.
In optogenetics, pathways in the brai...

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...t optogenetics has huge potential to help save lives and that it will have a big impact in the near future around the world. Because optogenetics is performed on the brain, one mess up has the potential to change the patient’s life drastically if not done correctly, so its performance on humans will not be soon because of the need for this technique to be perfected. “Neuroscientists are eagerly, but not always successfully, looking for proof that optogenetics—a celebrated technique that uses pulses of visible light to genetically alter brain cells to be excited or silenced—can be as successful in complex and large brains as it has been in rodent models” (“Neuroscience Method” 1). Scientists have yet to uncover the endless possibilities of optogenetics and when they do, it can improve the well-being of humans all over the world and thrive for the generations to come.
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