It is no question that this study is groundbreaking, both for optogenetics and for protein engineering. Bedbrook and Yang mentioned they have already started testing some of their newly engineered channelrhodopsins in neurons, and preliminary results look promising! Machine learning is very new to synthetic biology, with only a handful of published examples. However, the team behind this study has shown that with the help of next generation DNA synthesis, machine learning is set to become an integral application for protein engineering in the near future.
Cover image source: Wikicommons. Author: Wei-Chung Allen Li et al.