About the cover
The channelrhodopsins are light-gated ion channels, found in algae, that have rapidly become familiar in the neuroscience lab as optogenetics reagents: the activities of neurons expressing channelrhodopsins can be optically controlled within systems as complicated as living mammals. The X-ray crystal structure of a chimaera of two channelrhodopsins has now been determined at 2.3 Å resolution. The structure reveals the molecular architecture of this ion channel, including the retinal-binding pocket and cation conduction pathway. This work paves the way for the design of new channelrhodopsin variants with enhanced properties. Cover image: Hiroshi M. Sasaki.