A new way to select and switch on one cell type in an organism using light has helped answer a long-standing question about the function of one class of enigmatic nerve cells in the spinal cord.

Claire Wyart, post-doctoral fellow in the Isacoff lab at UC Berkeley's Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, and UCSF post-doctoral fellow Filippo Del Bene are the joint first authors of a paper describing these results that appears in the Sept. 17 issue of the journal Nature.

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