PerspectiveNeuroscience

Optogenetic Regeneration

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Science  04 Apr 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6179, pp. 44-45
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253088

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Summary

The first decade of optogenetics has seen many efforts to improve our understanding of normal and pathological neural circuitry (1). The great impact of these efforts has stemmed from an alliance between systems neuroscientists and protein engineers—the first group identifying neural circuits amenable to causal dissection, the second developing tools that enable unprecedented degrees of control over neural activity. The next decade of optogenetics is likely to see the development of a new alliance that may have similarly important implications–one between optogenetics and translational medicine. On page 94 of this issue, Bryson et al. describe one model for how such an alliance may proceed, applying tools from optogenetics in concert with ideas in regenerative medicine to restore muscle function in a mouse model of peripheral nerve injury (2).