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  • Optogenetics: Still a Hot Topic

Dec 2015

Optogenetics has been getting a lot of press for several years now. An early mention of it as an emerging field came in a news story on dated Oct. 13, 2009, which was a report of a hot topics session at a recently wrapped Frontiers in Optics meeting.

In July 2010, contributing editor Marie Freebody wrote a brief article on the emerging topic in this magazine. That same year, optogenetics was named Method of the Year by Nature.

In this issue — a very short five years later — Freebody takes a fresh look at optogenetics. “An Illuminated State of Mind,” beginning on page 24, reviews the method’s humble beginnings and probes new questions as optogenetics research spreads quickly around the world.

In “Pushing Sensitivity to the Brink: Selecting the Right Imaging Technology for Your Application,” Myriam Francoeur and Yoann Gosselin, of Nüvü Cameras, explain how, with the right camera, imaging systems can produce dramatically high-resolution images at fast speeds. Read the article, beginning on page 30.

Stacy Carrier and Jude Schneck, of tec5USA, discuss how “Spectroscopy Can Head Off Food Safety Crises,” beginning on page 36. According to the authors, spectroscopy is a safe, nondestructive analytical method for improving quality control and assurance at food production facilities through real-time measurement of the products at various processing stages.

Be sure to check out the Microscopy Sourcebook, inside this issue, beginning on page 39.

In it, we’ve collected a variety of resources for everyone working in microscopy in the life sciences, including the latest products, a supplier directory and a list of relevant webinars available on demand at

Enjoy the issue.

A discipline that combines optics and genetics to enable the use of light to stimulate and control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, which have been genetically modified to respond to light. Only the cells that have been modified to include light-sensitive proteins will be under control of the light. The ability to selectively target cells gives researchers precise control. Using light to control the excitation, inhibition and signaling pathways of specific cells or groups of cells...
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