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How Lasers Make Mice Into Deadly Hunters

Science By
(Chris Isherwood/Flickr)
(Chris Isherwood/Flickr)

 

Okay, first the disappointing news: Scientists have yet to actually arm mice with lasers. (At least, not to the best of our knowledge.) They have, however, managed a feat that’s almost as terrifying. Quite simply, they have figured out how to control the minds of mice through lasers … and make them ultra-aggressive.

How did this happen? Ivan de Araujo, a neurobiologist at Yale University, read that the amygdala (a part of the brain linked to fear and anxiety), was active when rats engaged in predatory behavior. Knowing that neurons can be stimulated by laser light, he and his team decided to see what happened when they messed with the brain of a mouse.

The result: Mice instantly went into hunting mode. They weren’t completely out of control—they left other mice alone—but if there was anything smaller within range, they attacked it, even if it was an inanimate object.

But why read about it when you can see these laser-incited mice in action for yourself? Watch below and discover yet another way science can be scary.

 

RealClearLife Staff