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ERIC Number: EJ1023625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Light, Brain, and Action: An Introductory, Interdisciplinary Course on Optogenetics for Undergraduate Students
Kouh, Minjoon; Merz, River
Journal of College Science Teaching, v43 n2 p60-64 Nov 2013
We piloted a semester-long, interdisciplinary, introductory science course using recently developed optogenetic technique as a main context. In neuroscience application, this technique introduces the gene of light-sensitive membrane protein into a targeted class of neurons, whose activity then can be modulated with a laser of specific wavelength. Such genetically modified and optically controllable neurons can be used to study the details of neural circuitries. This thoroughly interdisciplinary experimental technique provides an engaging modern context for studying and connecting various fundamental concepts and topics, such as genetics, biochemistry, laser, and nerve signaling. Students have learned how challenging scientific questions can be answered through the cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques from multiple disciplines, improving their scientific literacy broadly.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A