Ultrafast optogenetic control
The controlled expression of foreign genes has enabled all sorts of pyrotechnic displays, from the creation of carotene-rich golden rice to the riotous palette of neuronal arbors revealed via Brainbow by combinatorial derivatives of green fluorescent protein.
In most instances, genes from the microbial world are identified, modified, and then packaged for delivery and expression inplant or animal tissues, sometimes for purposes completely unrelated to the specific aims for which the original research was funded.
Peter Hegemann, Andre Berndt, Karl Deisseroth and coworker describe one of the latest such endeavors, in which light-activated channelrhodopsin-2(ChR2)was engineered.
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