Posted: June 14, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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THE DEVICE: Whole-cell patch clamping, a Nobel Prize-winning technique to record the electrical activity of neurons, has never looked so good. A shoebox-sized robot lowers a thin glass pipette, its tip sharpened to 1 micrometer in diameter, into the brain of an anesthetized mouse. The robot moves the pipette around inside the brain, almost imperceptibly, hunting for neurons. When the glass tip bumps into a neuron, the robot arm instantly halts and applies suction through the pipette to form a seal with the cell membrane. Once attached, the pipette tears a small hole in the membrane and records the cell’s internal electrical activity. (via Next Generation: The Brain Bot | The Scientist)

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