Robotic microscope locks on to wiggly worm’s brain

Microscopes are an indispensable scientific instrument, but they don’t do much good if the object under study keeps crawling out of view. To keep things in focus, a team of scientists from Osaka University and Tohoku University led by Professor Koichi Hashimoto has developed a new robotic microscope that automatically tracks moving objects as part of a study of brain activity. One of the bigger breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience is the development of optogenetics – the use of light to individually stimulate genetically engineered nerve cells. It provides a high degree of precision for studying the relationship between brain activity and behavior, but its application outside of tissue cultures can be a bit tricky. A good example of this is the nematode caenorhabditis elegans. Sort of the microscopic…

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