Researchers at Georgia Tech and MIT have developed a way to automate the process of finding and recording information from neurons in the living brain. The researchers have shown that a robotic arm guided by a cell-detecting computer algorithm can identify and record from neurons in the living mouse brain with better accuracy and
speed than a human experimenter. Using this technique, scientists could classify the thousands of different types of cells in the brain, map how they connect to each other, and figure out how diseased cells differ from normal cells.
Reference: S. Kodandaramaiah, G. Franzesi, B. Chow, E. Boyden, C.R. Forest, Automated whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology of neurons in vivo. Nature Methods, Vol. 9(6), p. 585-587, May 2012. (www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v9/n6/abs/nmeth.1993.html)