The Guardian reported in 2016 that magnetized proteins could be used to activate brain cells rapidly, reversibly, and non-invasively. The method, called ”magnetogenetics,” was tested to remotely control complex animal behaviors, and the researchers succeeded.
The Guardian states that understanding how the brain generates behaviors is one of the ultimate goals of neuroscience. This goal has driven several years of research to develop methods that allow the remote control of neurons in the brain.
The most powerful method is called optogenetics, which enables researchers to turn on or off groups of neurons with pulsed laser light. Another method is chemogenetics, which uses engineered proteins that can be activated by designer drugs and then directed toward specific cell types.
Optogenetics is described as invasive because the method requires the introduction of optical fibers to deliver light pulses into the brain. A chemogenetic method is considered more efficient, although the active influence on the brain is slower.
newsvoice.se, Magnetogenetics: Behaviors can be remotely controlled with genetically engineered magnetic proteins and viruses