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New Optogenetic Tool May Find Application in Understanding Epileptic Seizures

Scientists at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, have discovered a new optogenetic tool, a receptor protein found in zebrafish brain and eyes (Opn7b), and demonstrated its potential application in epilepsy research to uncover underlying mechanisms and timelines of the onset of seizure. Opn7b, the scientists showed, continuously activates an important intracellular signaling pathway called the Gi/o pathway and can be turned off by blue or green light thereby deactivating the Gi/o signaling pathway.