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October 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 18)

Open Optogenetics

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When it comes to probing neural circuitry, researchers have certainly “seen the light.” In just a matter of years, optogenetics (involving the use of genetically encoded, light-activatable ion channels) has become a major experimental approach in neuroscience. This rapid expansion has created a need for shared resources among members of the neuroscience community to discuss various technical, experimental, and theoretical aspects of this technology. Enter OpenOptogenetics.org, which fills that precise void. With a goal of “promoting, facilitating, and democratizing the use of optogenetic approaches in biological research,” OpenOptogenetics.org offers user-provided information related to optogenetic tools, gene expression, and hardware. Additionally, the website provides a list of laboratories contributing to the site, as well as a limited number of links to other optogenetics websites. Finally, fitting for a website promoting communication among researchers, one of the strengths of this site is the blog. In all, this is a great open resource for optogenetics researchers.

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