A decade of optogenetics: what have we learnt?

Written by Alice Weatherston

The Breakthrough Prize at the end of 2015 highlighted some of the most influential breakthroughs and developments across the fundamental sciences. One of these prestigious awards was presented to Karl Deisseroth (Stanford University; CA, USA), a psychiatrist come basic neuroscientist who led research into the development of optogenetics, a form of microbial opsin engineering enabling optical control of specific nerve cells in living mammals. Since Deisseroth’s initial paper on the technique over a decade ago it has been applied and utilized in an array of different studies investigating neuronal circuits and neurological disorders. We talked to Professor Deisseroth to find...

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