By Matthew Chung
UberGizmo | January 18, 2011
The smart folks over at the Georgia Institute of Technology have managed to use inexpensive components from ordinary liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors to control both the brains and muscles of tiny organisms such as worms. While previous research was limited to larger animals and was achieved by placing optical fibers into the brains of animals or illuminating the animal’s entire body, this new experiment demonstrates that it’s possible to control brain circuitry using the red, green and blue lights from a projector.
The system uses a modified LCD projector to cast a multicolor light pattern onto the organisms, with independent red, green and blue channels activating specific color-sensitive cells and silencing others. Sounds a bit freaky and maybe you might want to think twice if you see someone shining colored lights in your face.