Optogenetics has been around for a decade, and the New York Times is ON IT.
In all seriousness, this piece offers a nice overview of some of the more exciting methodological developments in neuroscience from the past few years, including optogenetics and Clarity, techniques for activating neurons with light and turning brains transparent, respectively.
One thing they miss: CLARITY is an acronym. (It stands for Clear, Lipid-exchanged, Anatomically Rigid, Imaging/immunostaining compatible, Tissue hYdrogel.) Granted, it's a pretty ridiculous acronym.
He wrote of Dr. Miesenböck’s work, “If one had to identify the paper that launched the thousand ships of optogenetics, this is it.” But although this was a breakthrough and a proof that light could be used to control neurons, Dr. Miesenböck’s work was not picked up as a tool by the neuroscience community because, Dr. Isacoff wrote, of the limited effectiveness of light in stimulating the neurons, and because it was hard to adapt to different biological systems.