Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We depend on electrical waves to regulate the rhythm of our heartbeat. When those signals go awry, the result is a potentially fatal arrhythmia.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Now, a team of researchers from Oxford and Stony Brook universities has found a way to precisely control these waves – using light. Their results are published in the journal Nature Photonics.

Both cardiac cells in the heart and neurons in the brain communicate by electrical signals, and these messages of communication travel fast from cell to cell as 'excitation waves'. Interestingly, such waves are also found in a range of other processes in nature, from chemical reactions to yeast and amoebas.

Read more

Similar stories

Long COVID: vaccination could reduce symptoms, new research suggests

While evidence suggests that people who are vaccinated before they get COVID are less likely to develop long COVID than unvaccinated people, the effectiveness of vaccination on existing long COVID has been less clear.

Com-COV vaccine study to research third dose booster options for 12-to-15-year-olds

Researchers running the University of Oxford-led Com-COV programme have launched a further study of COVID-19 vaccination schedules in young people aged 12 to 15 – with a focus on assessing different options for a third dose booster vaccination.

Population-scale study highlights ongoing risk of COVID-19 in some cancer patients despite vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination is effective in most cancer patients, but the level of protection against COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and death offered by the vaccine is less than in the general population and vaccine effectiveness wanes more quickly.

New reporting guidelines developed to improve AI in healthcare settings

New reporting guidelines, jointly published in Nature Medicine and the BMJ by Oxford researchers, will ensure that early studies on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to treat real patients will give researchers the information needed to develop AI systems safely and effectively.

Major boost for Oxford’s mission to counter future pandemic threats

The Moh Family Foundation has given a substantial gift to support the work of Oxford University’s Pandemic Sciences Institute, greatly strengthening its ability to identify and counter future pandemic threats and ensure equitable access to treatments and vaccines around the world.