Remote control for plants

Plants have microscopically small pores on the surface of their leaves called stomata. These help plants regulate the influx of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. They also prevent the loss of too much water and withering ...

Biophysicists reveal how optogenetic tool works

An international research team has for the first time obtained the structure of the light-sensitive sodium-pumping KR2 protein in its active state. The discovery provides a description of the mechanism behind the light-driven ...

Manufacture of light-activated proteins

A new strategy for designing light-sensitive proteins has been developed by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB). Such proteins, also known as optogenetic tools, can be switched on and off through light impulses, ...

Color vision found in fish that live in near darkness

An international team of researchers discovered a previously unknown visual system that may allow color vision in deep, dark waters where animals were presumed to be colorblind. The research appears on the cover of the May ...

Expanding the optogenetics toolkit

Controlling individual brain cells using light-sensitive proteins has proven to be a powerful tool for probing the brain's complexities. As this branch of neuroscience has expanded, so has the demand for a diverse palette ...

Innovative microscope poised to propel optogenetics studies

A newly developed microscope is providing scientists with a greatly enhanced tool to study how neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease affect neuron communication. The microscope is optimized to perform ...

Structure of primary optogenetic tool revealed

An international team of researchers has determined the 3-D structure of channelrhodopsin 2, a membrane protein widely used in optogenetics to control nerve cells with light. Optogenetics is a relatively new technique that ...

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