DISCLAIMER: This article is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at last review, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information.
Boyden, Edward S. Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Molecular tools
- Applications to basic and clinical science
- Other optogenetic strategies
- Chemically augmented optogenetics
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Optogenetics is a field of bioengineering research that centers on the development and use of tools that enable the use of light to control specific biological processes in order to understand how those processes causally contribute to complex cellular and organismal functions. By turning off a specific biological process, it is possible to understand what complex or emergent functions that process is necessary for. On the other hand, by stimulating a specific biological process, it may be possible to see what complex functions that process is sufficient to initiate. As might be inferred from the name, the most common optogenetic strategy is to express specific foreign genes that encode for light-receptive proteins in cells, in vitro or in vivo, and then to illuminate the cells to activate the resulting light-receptive protein, thus driving the specific signaling pathway that is downstream of the protein. These genes are taken from cells of other organisms and introduced using transgenic vectors, such as viruses.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information