Researchers in Europe have discovered that human thought can be used to activate genes. The researchers devised a system wherein specific thoughts of human beings can be used to control the transformation of genes to proteins, via a stream of process, named ‘gene expression’. Scientists at ETH Zurich in Switzerland made this discovery which was published in Nature Communications. They used electroencephalogram, which is more commonly known and EEG. It is a headset, which records brainwaves. These brainwaves are hence recorded in it, and sent via Bluetooth to the controller.
Author Martin Fussenegger, who is a professor of biotechnology at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland said, “For the first time, we have been able to tap into human brainwaves, transfer them wirelessly to a gene network and regulate the expression of a gene depending on the type of thought. Being able to control gene expression via the power of thought is a dream that we’ve been chasing for over a decade.” The researchers were amazed at the findings, which could take them deeper in the stream now. The authors also explained how the activated implants switch on LED light and activate the engineered cells, which produce protein. It was tested in mice labs and also in cell cultures. “Controlling the genes in such a way is completely new and is very unique in its simplicity,” Fussenegger explained in the published media reports.
The participants of the study were split in three different groups. The groups were bio-feedback, meditation and concentration. The involved participants were told to be playing Minecraft, the game and stay deeply engrossed in it with full concentration. The researchers are now hoping to have similar implants of such kind, which they believe could someday possibly help doctors to treat neurological diseases. Diseases such as epilepsy and chronic headaches they believe could be treated with such treatment in the near future.