Scientists Hack Fruit Fly Brains to Remote Control Them

Scientists at Rice University have successfully used a remote control to operate the wings of fruit flies, after hacking into their brains. To achieve this, the researchers genetically modified flies to express a specific heat-sensitive ion channel. Then they inserted a heat trigger—magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles that heat up in the presence of a magnetic charge—into the flies’ brains. When a magnetic field is switched …

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Reproducing robots, edible insects, NASA's theologians, bird-friendly architecture and more from around the web

Testing DMT to Treat Depression Psychoactive drug DMT (aka N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is known for its life-altering, metaphysical trips, but scientists are now looking into its potential to treat depression. Small Pharma, a Canadian drug development company, is working on combining DMT with regular therapy to ease depression in treatment-resistant patients. In September, the company completed phase one of clinical trials—the first company to do so—by …

Insect-Based Pet Food Could Help Curb Climate Change

The way we eat undoubtedly needs to be transformed in order to curb climate change, but one area of the food system that’s often overlooked pertains to the “carbon pawprint”—aka pet food. A 2020 study by researchers based in the UK and Germany discovered that the pet food industry emits “as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the total emissions of the Philippines or …