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Scientists Locate On-Off Thirst Switch in Mouse Brain

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posted on Jan, 26 2015 @ 09:03 PM
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I'm not sure as to exactly this experiment would be helpful in our everyday lives, but I thought to bring it here for dissection. This article states that scientists at Columbia University, led by neuroscientist Yuki Oka located the On-Off switch for thirst using laser(s)/light. The scientists report that this research is important for people with drinking problems but the conspiracy gears in my head are-a-turning.



In the new study, Oka and a team of colleagues at Columbia University used a technique called optogenetics to pinpoint the origin of thirst impulses in the brains of mice. The researchers injected the mouse brains with a virus that made certain cells sensitive to laser light, and when scientists shone the laser on those cells, it caused them to turn nerve impulses "on" or "off."

The team targeted neurons in a structure called the subfornical organ (SFO), which is known to be active when a mouse is dehydrated. "The SFO is a sort of sensor in the brain," Oka said. The researchers also chose this region because it lies outside the blood-brain barrier, a highly selective membrane that keeps the blood separate from the fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. This made it easier to inject the virus into the neurons to make them sensitive to light.

Previous studies had used small electrical shocks to activate this region, but that method makes it impossible to pinpoint the individual neurons involved in thirst.

Using optogenetics, Oka and his colleagues identified two distinct populations of cells involved in thirst. When the scientists shone the laser on one set of cells, the mice drank voraciously, even if the animals weren't thirsty before. When the researchers shone laser light on the other set of neurons, mice that were thirsty immediately stopped drinking.


I wonder who's funding this research...? That may give insight into the potential uses of this research. Furhtermore, if light can be used to turn on or off certain parts of a mouse's brain then what about human brains? I think we need to keep our eye(s) on this one...What says ATS?

www.nbcnews.com...




posted on Jan, 26 2015 @ 09:21 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

The source news (NBC) did not state that this ability to control the "thirst" switch was at all connected to additive drinking. Seems to be an apples and oranges difference here. Maybe the full scientific report did cover that issue.



posted on Jan, 26 2015 @ 09:22 PM
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It is only the first tiny step.

Imagine that later research can find the switch for our sexuality, or our will to live.

They may even find the switch to turn off the higher thought functions and turn us all into good little slaves.

On the other hand, finding the switch that causes drug dependency could help millions around the world.

What you can turn off, you can turn on.

This sort of research has no real goal other than to find small answers.

Also remember that science has no underlying real ethics to care how their inventions and discoveries are used by the wider society. Hence why we have atomic weapons today.

I don't think there is any conspiracy here, just the march forward to obtain pieces of the knowledge puzzle.

P

edit on 26/1/2015 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2015 @ 10:12 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

don't mess with my drinking switch. it's only a 12 pack a month and i need it.



posted on Jan, 26 2015 @ 10:17 PM
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originally posted by: lostbook
Furhtermore, if light can be used to turn on or off certain parts of a mouse's brain then what about human brains? I think we need to keep our eye(s) on this one...What says ATS?


Yes, if you are afraid that someone might give you a virus to induce sensitivity to laser light, drill a hole in your head, thread fiber optics through your brain and attach them to an external laser to make you thirsty or not, then you should certainly be afraid of this research.

On the other hand, I find it unlikely to happen. YMMV.



posted on Jan, 26 2015 @ 10:42 PM
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Now that they have identified the region of the brain that effects thirst, maybe they can identify what additive food chemicals are causing us to drink too much water and raise our BP too high. Why not do that instead of making medications to treat the problems we are having. The FDA could ban the chemistry that messes things up.

Oh yeah, that would cut into profits of big Pharma. Can't be doing that, they wouldn't be able to bribe anyone. Oh yeah, it isn't bribing, it is contributing to campaigns and paying fines to help support the FDA. I forgot how it works for a second.



posted on Jan, 27 2015 @ 10:55 AM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
Now that they have identified the region of the brain that effects thirst, maybe they can identify what additive food chemicals are causing us to drink too much water and raise our BP too high. Why not do that instead of making medications to treat the problems we are having. The FDA could ban the chemistry that messes things up.

Oh yeah, that would cut into profits of big Pharma. Can't be doing that, they wouldn't be able to bribe anyone. Oh yeah, it isn't bribing, it is contributing to campaigns and paying fines to help support the FDA. I forgot how it works for a second.


Right. Can't stop the profit(s).....



posted on Jan, 27 2015 @ 07:56 PM
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That could only mean there are more switches in brains. Sex switch. Hunger switch. Sleep switch. Protein & sugar converter switch. (makes you wonder if diabetes could be nothing more than a "switch" accidentally thrown and stuck)



posted on Jan, 27 2015 @ 10:45 PM
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Beer turns the switch on and Mad dog turns it off.



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