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Channelrhodopsin-2 is a light-activated cation channel of the channelrhodopsin family. Channelrhodopsin-2 contains not only a light-activatable transduction mechanism, but a channel pore itself, which can pass ions like sodium and calcium. This makes depolarization of excitable cells very fast, robust, and useful for bioengineering and neuroscience applications, including photostimulation of neurons for probing of neural circuits.

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