Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Happy Ending for Three Blind Mice

Actually, I'm sure it was more than three, but scientists have restored sight to mice blinded by a condition similar to macular degeneration, reports Reuters.

To restore vision in mice, scientists successfully transplanted new photoreceptor cells to replace damaged ones in the back of the eye. Photoreceptors are critical for sight, and the loss of them is among "the more common causes of blindness" in people, a scientist told Reuters. The new experiment, carried out by the Institute of Ophthalmology and the Institute of Child Health in London and the University of Michigan Medical School in the United States, may lead to the transplant of photoreceptors in humans.

In the past, scientists had used stem cells to replace damaged photoreceptors. The experiments failed. The latest experiment succeeded using more mature cells.

This is particularly surprising news. According to Reuters, "researchers had thought that the mature retina, the part of the eye that senses light and forms images, did not have the capacity for repair."

1 comment:

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.