At the forefront of Nobel laureates, Cowley at NTNU is known for providing the highest level of research.
Now they have done it again.
For the first time in the world, the mob at the Moser Lab in Trondheim has developed a unique tool.
This finding is best illustrated with a small microscope. It weighs less than three grams, is named Mini2P and acts as a kind of window into the cellular network of the brain.
– Ever since I was a student, I have been interested in learning how the brain works. Really being allowed to see it with your own eyes is the ultimate dream. May-Brit Moser tells NRK.
A direct view of the brain
The new technology they have been working on since 2018 is the “two-photon mini-scope”.
The device is placed on the head of a test mouse so that researchers can see with their own eyes how the nerve cells in the brain interact.
– At high resolution, you can see how thousands of cells change function when the mouse is running. This is a direct view of what is going on in the brain and nerve cells. We can see how cells function, among other things, the sense of space and memory, says Edward Moser.
This was not possible before.
From the past, there have been two technologies that can be compared to the new invention.
The animal must be completely immobile. Musa is then allowed to interact with the world only in the form of a movie. The second technology allows the mouse to move, but in larger and more active networks the cells are not able to separate from each other.
The mouse can now operate freely while the mini scope captures all functions. The Researchers can study the network of the brain in its natural state.
Nachum Ulanovsky is a world-renowned brain researcher. He lives at the Weissman Academy of Sciences in Israel.
In an email to NRK, he writes that the new technology is very important Neurology.
– The brain is activated by the action of large collections of neurons (nerve cells). Traditionally, the activity of individual cells or small groups could be recorded. It is absolutely important to develop technologies that make it possible to record a large number of neurons simultaneously.
With the new Moser technology it is possible to see thousands of cells at once.
– Now you can do this on free-running mice as well. Such a large number of neurons have never been recorded during independent behavior. Ulanovsky says this technology will revolutionize science on many fronts.
He hopes to be able to ask completely new questions about the basic mechanisms of the brain How we feel about the world, thinking and solving problems.
Laser and light
The new mini-scope works just like our eyes. It needs light to see it.
Just as all matter with mass is made of atoms, so is light Photons.
Using the laser, small photon light pockets are sent into the mouse brain, resulting in the active nerve cells glowing due to the glowing object.
This means that you can research the brain in a completely new way, explains Edward Moser.
– For example, the sense of place we explore is the first to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease. With this technique, we can better understand how the natural sense of place works, but we will also see at the beginning where and what goes wrong.
The new technology will lead to faster solving of medical mysteries, so researchers at Trondheim want to share it around the world. Free of charge.
There is tremendous progress in science when tools are available to as many people as possible, and the culture of sharing is something we have developed, says May-Brit Moser.
– By sharing this with the world, the competition will be fierce, but that in itself creates excitement.
The idea is that experts at Trondheim will help researchers around the world get started with new technology. Local courses will be conducted, but those hired will also travel around the world to teach.
Hope you get more science in the short term.
So far, the miniscope has been tested in three different areas of the brain: location, memory center and sense of sight.
– But this is only the beginning – With this technology all kinds of brain systems can be investigated, the Nobel laureate concludes.
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