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BERMAN_NEWS!
11-08-2006, 12:50 PM
http://news.com.com/Blind+mice+see+again+after+cell+transplants/2100-11393_3-6133707.html
British and American scientists have restored vision in blind mice by transplanting light-sensitive cells into their eyes in a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments of human eye diseases.

The mice suffered from eye damage called photoreceptor loss, which occurs in macular degeneration, the leading cause of sight loss in the elderly, and other eye disorders.

But instead of using stem cells, which could form into any cell type, the scientists transplanted cells that had reached a later stage of development toward becoming photoreceptor cells.

"We have shown for the first time that it is possible to transplant photoreceptors," said Dr. Robert MacLaren, a scientist and eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

"These cells are lost in some of the more common causes of blindness," he added in an interview.

The scientists believe further research could lead to the first human retinal cell transplants for people with blinding diseases within a decade.

Photoreceptors are specialized, light-sensitive cells that line the back of the eye and are essential for sight. In eye diseases such as macular degeneration, the cells are destroyed.

Previous studies that had used stem cells, master cells in the body that have the potential to become any type of cell in the body, had failed because the cells did not form into photoreceptors.

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.

MacLaren and his collaborators showed the key to successful transplantation was using precursor cells that are already programmed to become photoreceptors but are not quite there yet.

"We have taken them out of the donor retina and transplanted them into a host retina extremely quickly at that precise point in time and with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue," MacLaren explained.

The mice had eye diseases caused by genetic defects. Scientists have recently found cells on the margin of the retina in humans which have stem-cell like properties and could potentially be grown in the lab to become photoreceptor precursor cells for treatment.

The findings by MacLaren and scientists from the Institute of Ophthalmology and the Institute of Child Health in London and the University of Michigan Medical School are published online by the journal Nature.

"Rather than focusing on stem cells, we believed that if we could understand how cells develop and become photoreceptors...our transplantation efforts would meet with greater success," said professor Anand Swaroop, of the University of Michigan Medical School and a co-author of the study.

"This technique gives us new insights in repairing damage to the retina and possibly other parts of the central nervous system," he added in a statement.

Story Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Blake Sims
11-08-2006, 12:53 PM
Awesome!

Jerome Gibbons
11-08-2006, 12:54 PM
Amazing news.

JoeE
11-08-2006, 12:56 PM
Were their tails cut off with a carving knife?

Bill Nolan
11-08-2006, 01:04 PM
Are there militant blind people akin to the deaf folks who oppose any methods of restoring hearing?

- B

Ryan Elliott
11-08-2006, 01:17 PM
I knew it. BENDIS! and NEWS! are the same person.

SeanC
11-08-2006, 01:38 PM
Were their tails cut off with a carving knife?

You should of seen how they ran.

Jerome Gibbons
11-08-2006, 02:49 PM
Are there militant blind people akin to the deaf folks who oppose any methods of restoring hearing?

- B
Wha--?

NickT
11-08-2006, 02:59 PM
Were their tails cut off with a carving knife?


You should of seen how they ran.
They ran after the farmer's wife, they got what they deserved.

Bill Nolan
11-08-2006, 03:05 PM
Wha--?

A couple of good articles about that aspect of the Deaf Culture:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9F0CE3D6173FF935A25756C0A965958260

http://wallsmirrors.blogspot.com/2006/05/deafness-is-not-disability-argumentum.html

The gist:

"Extreme proponents of this view regard giving a deaf child a cochlear implant or hearing aids as akin to ‘correcting’ the colour of a black person’s skin by making them white."

- B

Jerome Gibbons
11-08-2006, 03:10 PM
A couple of good articles about that aspect of the Deaf Culture:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9F0CE3D6173FF935A25756C0A965958260

http://wallsmirrors.blogspot.com/2006/05/deafness-is-not-disability-argumentum.html

The gist:

"Extreme proponents of this view regard giving a deaf child a cochlear implant or hearing aids as akin to ‘correcting’ the colour of a black person’s skin by making them white."

- B
Huh. Well, look at that.


I know my situation doesn't really compare to theirs, but having some sort of artificial eye that would allow me to see from the left side of my face would be...well, pretty great for me.