One-Step Optogenetics for Hacking the Nervous System

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April 28, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: April 28 on

Engineers have taken one of biotech’s hottest tools—optogenetics—and made it better. The 12-year-old technique, which enables scientists to control brain cells with light, typically requires a multi-step process and several surgeries on animal models. Polina Anikeeva at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and her colleagues came up with an engineering solution that combines those steps into one, and improves the function of the device. The group described their invention today in the journal Nature Neuroscience.