Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Grace Randall
Current Events
Bio 1 Honors-Mrs.McClellan
Chandler, David L. "Magnetic Brain Stimulation." MIT News. MIT News Office, 12 Mar. 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.

Report on “Magnetic Brain Stimulation”
By Grace Randall

The article I read titled “Magnetic Brain Stimulation” by David L. Chandler discusses the recent breakthrough technique used to stimulate brain tissue. This novel technique directly stimulate brain neurons through the  use of external magnetic fields and injections of magnetic nanoparticles. The research for this technique has been conducted by Polina Anikeeva, and 4 others including a graduate student. They believe this technique has the possibility to be effective in treating various brain diseases without invasive implants or external connectors to the brain. “In their study, the team injected magnetic iron oxide particles just 22 nanometers in diameter into the brain,” according to MIT News’ David L. Chandler. As these particles they heat up they activate heat-sensitive capsaicin receptors, resulting in neural stimulation. The particles also are successful in staying in place, allowing for long time effectiveness and lesser need for more invasive surgeries. The ultimate hopes for scientists, is that after further improvement on this new technique, it can be used in deep brain stimulation and brain mapping.

This article was mainly about the science behind the technique, however it is still greatly connected to our own lives. Any great advancements in medicine undoubtedly affect everyone in our society, but the brain is especially important. The brain is like the control centers for our entire body, and without them nothing can function.  Yet, even though it is one of the most important parts of our body, much of it is still a mystery to scientists. The technique described in this article is believed to lead to future advancements in brain mapping. Mapping the brain successfully, and in great detail, good lead to huge steps in understanding the human brain. To everybody this is hugely beneficial and would have a great impact.

Overall this article is very well-written, and the author clearly understands what they are writing about. I especially found the video clip to be helpful, as it was a visual representation of what chandler was describing. The language was advanced and the technique was complex, but I found the author explained it well and I was still able to understand it to some extent. However, I wish the author would have addressed more than just the technical aspects and put a bit more focus on what it could lead to in society, as that is something the reader can relate to more. Also, I feel that for readers less educated on this topic, such as myself, could benefit from some type of word bank or hyperlinked definitions.

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