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Light-sensing proteins called rhodopsins are used in optogenetics to control neuronal activity, but existing rhodopsins can have low efficacy, especially when they are used to control synaptic activity between neurons. A mosquito-derived rhodopsin discovered by scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science provides precise, spatiotemporal control of synaptic activity in the brain. Its use as an optogenetics tool could further scientists’ understanding of the functional roles of specific neuronal pathways.
The research team, which is led by professor Ofer Yizhar, uses optogenetic methods to study the signals that are passed between neurons through the synapses in the brains of live mice. “We can detect the presence of…READ MORE