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euroscientists are rushing to harness the potential of light to activate neurons — and that race is spurring the development of new experimental tools that can bring the technology known as optogenetics deeper and deeper into the brain.

The latest such tool is a powerful miniature microscope, designed to peer into a mouse’s brain and stimulate it with pulses of light. The microscope will soon be put to the test, to see if it can strip a banana-loving mouse of its ability to smell — and then bring it back again.

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