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Optogenetics in the Era of Cerebral Organoids
- Shiri, Zahra, Simorgh, Susan, Naderi, Somayeh, Baharvand, Hossein
- Trends in biotechnology 2019
- brain, etiology, humans, neural networks, neurodegenerative diseases, optogenetics
- The human brain has been deemed the most complex organ and has captivated neuroscientists for decades. Most studies of this organ have relied on reductionist model systems. Although all model systems are essentially wrong, cerebral organoids so far represent the closest recapitulation of human brain development and disease both in terms of cell diversity and organization. The optogenetic technique can be used in this context to study the functional neuroanatomy of the brain, to examine the neural circuits, and to determine the etiology of neurological disorders. In this opinion article, we suggest ways in which optogenetics can be combined with cerebral organoids to allow unprecedented precision and accuracy in studying normal and aberrant neurodevelopmental processes and, as well, neurodegenerative diseases.