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Terahertz frequency occupies a middle ground where the ranges of microwaves and infrared light waves overlap, known as the “terahertz gap”.

The optimal word here is “light” waves. Our eyes can’t see infrared, but as far as our technologies are concerned, it’s just like light.

Optogenetics is a biological technique to control the activity of neurons or other cell types with light. Light powers the optical fibers that underpin the internet.

Utilizing light, through optogenetics, is achieved by expression of light-sensitive ion channels, pumps or enzymes specifically in the target cells. On the level of individual cells, light-activated enzymes and transcription factors allow precise control of biochemical signaling pathways.

In systems neuroscience, the ability to control the activity of a genetically defined set of neurons has been used to understand their contribution to decision making, learning, fear memory, mating, addiction, feeding, and locomotion.

In a first medical application of optogenetic technology, vision was partially restored in a blind patient.

In 2010, optogenetics was chosen as the “Method of the Year” across all fields of science and engineering by the interdisciplinary research journal Nature Methods. At the same time, optogenetics was highlighted in the article on “Breakthroughs of the Decade” in the academic research journal Science.


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