I was reading this 2010 review of optogenetics (PDF) by Karl Deisseroth, a pioneer in the field, and was struck by this sentence:
Optogenetics is a technology that allows targeted, fast control of precisely defined events in biological systems as complex as freely moving mammals.
Then I read this in a recent paper in Science:
Successful integration of advanced semiconductor devices with biological systems will accelerate basic scientific discoveries and their translation into clinical technologies. In neuroscience generally, and in optogenetics in particular, the ability to insert light sources, detectors, sensors, and other components into precise locations of the deep brain yields versatile and important capabilities.
My immediate thought was: cyborgs.
Over at Pacific Standard, you can read the results: Our Cyborg Overlords May Arrive Sooner Than Expected.
It’s shocking how fast biotech is growing. For a long time we had restriction enzymes, ligases, PCR. Now we have GFP, RNAi, ZFNs and TALENs, optogenetics, CRISPRs…