We've written quite a bit about optogenetics, a biological-research technology that was largely developed at Stanford and was designated by Nature Methods as 2010's "Method of the Year." In today's New York Times, writers Carl E. Schoonover and Abby Rabinovitz take a closer look at the technology and its promise:
While such tools are very far from being used or even tested in humans, scientists say optogenetics research is exciting because it gives them extraordinary control over specific brain circuits - and with it, new insights into an array of disorders, among them anxiety and Parkinson’s disease.
The article goes on to discuss the pioneering work of Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, known as the leading force in the tool's development, and his Stanford colleagues.
Previously: How Stanford's Optogenetics Innovation Lab fosters collaboration across a diverse range of fields, Nature Methods names optogenetics its "Method of the Year", A powerful new tool to understand the brain, Karl Deisseroth outlines optogenetics in Scientific American, Using light to better understand mental illness and Using unconventional therapies to troubleshoot the brain