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Uploaded:2014-08-26
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Victoria demonstrates optogenetics with a rat.
Read more about Iggy's slime molds - http://pbly.co/FMDblog2
Check out the Merch - http://pbly.co/FMDmerch

Website - http://frankensteinMD.com
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Frankenstein MD is a multi-platform series based on Frankenstein, a novel by Mary Shelley.
The series is developed by Lon Harris, Brett Register, and Bernie Su
The series is produced by Pemberley Digital. http://pemberleydigital.com
and distributed by PBS Digital Studios. http://www.youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios


See more details at http://www.pemberleydigital.com/frankenstein-md/

Victoria Frankenstein - Anna Lore - https://twitter.com/anna_train
Iggy DeLacey - Steve Zaragoza - https://twitter.com/stevezaragoza
Dr. Abraham Waldman - Kevin Rock -

Executive Producer - Bernie Su - http://twitter.com/BernieSu
Executive Producer - Matt Vree - https://twitter.com/mattvree
Executive Producer - Hank Green - http://youtube.com/HanksChannel
Co-Executive Producer - Lon Harris https://twitter.com/Lons
Co-Executive Producer - Brett Register - https://twitter.com/BrettDidThis
Producer - Tracy Bitterolf - http://twitter.com/tracyfeather
Co Producer -Tamara Krinsky - http://twitter.com/tamaraKrinsky
Consulting Producer - Frederick Kim - http://twitter.com/Frederick_Kim
Director - Brett Register - https://twitter.com/BrettDidThis
Writer - Frederick Kim - http://twitter.com/Frederick_Kim
Cinematography - Matt Ryan - http://www.mattryandp.com/
Editor - Sam Mollo - http://www.sammollo.com
Transmedia Editor - Christine Linnell - https://twitter.com/CNell_LA
Associate Producer - Ariana Nedelman
Science Advisor - Joe Hanson - https://twitter.com/jtotheizzoe
Assistant Director - Jordan Paley
Production Designer - Katie Moest - http://twitter.com/orangepenguino
Stylist - Jessica Snyder - http://twitter.com/MintTheBlog
Assistant Editor - Brennan Barsell
DIT - Lisa Curtis
Propmaster - Audrey Lee
Set Decorator - Kim Brunner
Script Supervisor - Maggie Werning
Makeup - Roxanne Pike
Sound Mixer/Boom - Geoff Allison
Key Grip - Oliver Bukowsky
Gaffer - Matt Hingstman
Colorist - Brennan Barsell
Camera Assistant - Kelsey Taylor
Intro Music - Sally Chou
Intro Design - Andrew Swaner
Social Media Manager - Christina Cooper - http://twitter.com/cncooper
Graphic Designer - Becca Rodrigues - https://twitter.com/Beccabumblybee
Production Assistant - Thomas Della Bella
Production Assistant - Anthony Toledo
Channel Manager for PBS Digital Studios - Raymond Schillinger
Closed Captions - Jared M. Gair

"Yellow slime mold" by KeresH - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Victoria (V)
Iggy (I)
Dr. Abraham Waldman (Dr)

(PBS opening screen)

V: After more than a full week without any fatal- or near fatal accidents here in the lab, it appears we have another fatality to report.

I: Victoria, please! I feel like Terrence deserves a real send-off.

V: You're taking this very hard. (Begins to speak)

I: (Cuts V off) We'll be holding a small memorial ceremony, and in lieu of flowers please send a donation to the science-

V: (Cuts I off) No one should ever die needlessly, but he was just a lab rat.

I: (Sighs) I know, but I can't help but feel like a little bit responsible. I think he'd want me to just find the strength and forgive myself and move on.

V: You had nothing to do with this, and Terrence wouldn't want you to 'forgive yourself' because he's incapable of abstract thought on that level.

I: I just hate it when the lab animals die!

V: Because it means that we screwed up.

I: And they're so cute!

(Music)

V: Last time, we showed you how the brain circuits can be manipulated using high-powered magnets. However, the problem with magnets and even electrodes placed inside the brain is that they generally affect multiple neural circuits, not just one. So as a tool, they're not very precise.

I: But optogenetics gives us that precision by allowing us to select individual neurons by using a beam of light.

?: It's not easy though.

I: True, first you've got to put the DNA for a light-sensitive protein into a virus. Then the virus has to infect the targeted neuron so they'll express the protein on their cell membranes.

V: Then the protein has to excite or silence the neurons when exposed to just the right frequency of light.

Dr: Theoretically, yes. But I fear this is another silly, showy experiment unlikely to bear any real fruit.

I: Well, we do have that sleep deprived concept, or the slime molds!

V: Actually, there may be practical application for optogenetics within the scope of our current research. 

Dr: Mr. DeLacey, tell her about the slime molds.

V: What about the slime molds?

I: (chuckles) I'm glad you asked. We've observed aggregation behavior in slime mold cells self-organizing into uniform clusters.

V: Sure...

I: But- could we use these various behavioral techniques to modify, influence, rearrange, and even deconstruct these clusters?

Dr: Sounds like a worthwhile question for some examination.

V: Dr. Waldman, I'm sorry, slime molds are a waste of my time.

I: Oh, okay, so my project is a waste of your time.

V: That's not what I meant.

I: Okay, so just because it's 'disgusting' and 'gross' and 'awful' it means you don't want to do it, that's typical.

V: Will you both stop slimming me for two seconds so I can show Dr. Waldman what Terrence is up to?

I: (Chuckles) Slimming me, okay, I see what you did there.

Dr: Wh- who is Terrence?

FIVE MINUTES LATER

Dr: It does appear that I am controlling the rat's movements! This isn't an illusion of some kind, you can replicate this effect?

V: He's never even seen this maze before. Terrence is guided only by your inputs. You got it, a left here, and then- right.

I: Oh, wait, so there's no other triggers than just these light pulses?

V: That's right, the pulses either go to his left or right motor cortex and that controls Terrence's directions. Plus I had Robert patch together his little circuit board hat.

I: Well obviously it's darling, but, I mean, it's just...

V: (In baby voice) Who's a good little Terrence? Who saved me from Iggy's slime molds? Yes, was it you? Yes it was!

I: Alright, yeah. Terrence, don't listen to her! The slime molds were totally cash!

Dr: And you did all of this on your own?

V: This is just a simple demonstration. What I want to d is start using optogenetics in partnership with the synthetic organs we're already making.

Dr: Optogenetics is a neuroscience research tool.

I: Yeah, sure, I mean someday it can be used to cure epilepsy or other types of blindness- what would we use it for?

V: Maybe manipulating pacemaker activity, or- or calibrating the release of hormones from a kidney. Anything we want to control remotely.

Dr: Write up a detailed proposal, both of you.

V: I have one nearly ready to go. I could have it in your office tomorrow. Say, six am?

I: Uh, we'll have it to you by the end of the week.

Dr: Excellent. I look forward to it.

I: (Sighs heavily)

V: I'm sorry about your slime molds.

I: Nah, it's alright. It doesn't matter, your mind control rats are pretty good. But we have to try that sleep deprivation study, it's gonna be so cash!

V: I don't think anyone's picking up 'cash'.

I: Yeah it's not really working, is it?

(Thump noise)

V: Terrence!

I: Uh, he's seizing!

V: Well what about the optogenetics helmet? You said it could be used to treat seizures!

I: Uh, yeah, I mean, if you had time to adapt it, maybe... I don't know!

V: Right! If we- if we trigger the light pulses to counteract the spikes!

I: Uh, I mean, but I'd say he's in pretty immediate distress, I mean before you could even start to seriously begin the calibrations-

V: (Cuts I off) Well then I'll get him more time!

I: Wait you don't mean...

V: To the cryonics lab!

I: Oh, okay, I thought you meant time travel. Cryonics is pretty cool too. (Sighs) Hey Robbie, you want to help me flush some slim molds?