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In 2005, Stanford scientist Karl Deisseroth discovered how to switch individual brain cells on and off by using light in a technique he dubbed 'optogenetics'.

Research teams around the world have since used this technique to study brain cells, heart cells, stem cells and others regulated by electrical signals.

However, light-sensitive proteins were efficient at switching cells on but proved less effective at turning them off.

Now, after almost a decade of research, scientists have been able to shut down the neurons as well as activate them.
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Via Science Alert:

At the moment when we talk with satellites, we use polarised light, which can only vibrate on a single plane, because it's not affected by turbulence in the air. But this is extremely slow, as only one bit of information can be carried by each particle of light.

In order to speed this up, physicists have been looking for a way to encode more information into photons - and in the '90s they began investigating twisting light, which can be sent like a corkscrew across long distances. This is known as orbital angular momentum, or OAM, and it opens up the potential for ridiculously fast and secure communication.
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