We review the analog of Fontaine's theory of crystalline -adic Galois representations and their classification by weakly admissible filtered isocrystals in the arithmetic of function fields over a finite field. There crystalline Galois representations are replaced by the Tate modules of so-called local shtukas. We prove that the Tate module functor is fully faithful. In addition to this étale realization of a local shtuka we discuss also the de Rham and the crystalline cohomology realizations and construct comparison isomorphisms between these realizations. We explain how local shtukas and these cohomology realizations arise from Drinfeld modules and Anderson's -motives. As an application we construct equi-characteristic crystalline deformation rings, establish their rigid-analytic smoothness and compute their dimension.