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And the blind will see

This is not a comment on America’s mid-term elections, though it might well be.

In remarkable news, the Times reports that British and American researchers have used cell transplants to restore sight to blind mice, and hope “it may be possible for doctors to treat conditions that cause irreversible blindness, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye damage” for hundreds of thousands who have lost their sight.

In a breakthrough described as ‘stunning’, the researchers implanted immature retinal cells into the eyes of the mice which then developed into fully functioning photoreceptors. Photoreceptors are the pixel-like light-sensitive cells in the retina that make it possible to see.

. . . Dr Robert MacLaren, a member of the team from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, said: ‘This research is the first to show that photoreceptor transplantation is feasible.’

The plan is to use stem cell-like retinal cells from the affected patient. The research was published in the magazine Nature.

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