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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By Edward S. Boyden | July 1, 2011

The optogenetic toolset is composed of genetically encoded molecules that, when targeted to specific neurons in the brain, enable the electrical activity of those neurons to be driven or silenced by light. 

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image: For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Cristina Luiggi | July 1, 2011

Eleanor Simpson on how dopamine helps rats learn and may lead humans to addiction.

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image: Best in Academia, 2011

Best in Academia, 2011

By The Scientist Staff | July 1, 2011

Meet some of the finalists of this year's Best Places to Work in Academia survey. 

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image: Foresight

Foresight

By Karen Hopkin | July 1, 2011

Studying the earliest events in visual development, Carla Shatz has learned the importance of looking at one’s data with open eyes—and an open mind.

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image: Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

By Edward S. Boyden | July 1, 2011

This animation illustrates optogenetics—a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light. 

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image: Trading Pelts for Pestilence

Trading Pelts for Pestilence

By Jef Akst | July 1, 2011

When European explorers and fishermen began to frequent Canada’s shores in the 16th century, they brought with them a plethora of tools and trinkets, including knives, axes, kettles, and blankets. 

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image: One Bad Apple

One Bad Apple

By Richard P. Grant | June 24, 2011

A unique virus and the worm it infects turn up in an orchard outside of Paris.

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image: Sleep on it

Sleep on it

By Megan Scudellari | June 23, 2011

Scientists invent a method to control the timing and duration of sleep in fruit flies and find that snoozing helps form long-term memories.

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image: Criminal genes

Criminal genes

By Cristina Luiggi | June 22, 2011

Experts come together to revisit the controversial field of genetics and criminology.

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image: UK scraps nationality DNA-testing

UK scraps nationality DNA-testing

By Tia Ghose | June 20, 2011

The UK’s immigration agency has abandoned a program to develop DNA and isotope testing to assess the nationality of asylum seekers.

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