Have Scientists Found a Cure for BLINDNESS?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Some 285 million people are thought to be visually impaired across the world.

But now scientists have discovered a method for generating several key types of eye tissue from human stem cells.

They have used the finding to restore vision in rabbits and the findings offer hope that in years to come, blind people could be treated in a similar way to help them see again.

Scientists have discovered a method for generating several key types of eye tissue from human stem cells. This image shows how human stem cells grow over several weeks to spontaneously form four zones each of which has a characteristic of a different part of the eye, therefore mimicking whole eye development
Scientists have discovered a method for generating several key types of eye tissue from human stem cells. This image shows how human stem cells grow over several weeks to spontaneously form four zones each of which has a characteristic of a different part of the eye, therefore mimicking whole eye development

The eye is composed of highly specialised tissues that are derived from a variety of cell lineages during development.

Previous studies have shown that particular cell types, such as those that make up the retina or cornea, can be created in the laboratory from so-called pluripotent stem cells.

RESTORING SIGHT IN RABBITS 

The eye is composed of highly specialised tissues that are derived from a variety of cell lineages during development. 

Previous studies have shown particular cell types, such as those that make up the retina or cornea, can be created in the laboratory from so-called pluripotent stem cells.

Pluripotent stem cells are self-replicating, so develop into cells and tissues.

However, this is the first time multiple cell lineages of the eye, including the lens, cornea, and conjunctiva have been generated from such cells. 

Researchers from Cardiff University and Osaka University in Japan have shown corneal epithelial cells can be cultivated and transplanted into the eyes of blind rabbits to surgically repair the front of the eye.

Pluripotent stem cells are self-replicating, so develop into cells and tissues.

However, this is the first time multiple cell lineages of the eye, including the lens, cornea, and conjunctiva have been generated from such cells.

Researchers from Cardiff University and Osaka University in Japan have shown corneal epithelial cells can be cultivated and transplanted into the eyes of blind rabbits to surgically repair the front of the eye.

Study co-author Professor Andrew Quantock said: ‘This research shows that various types of human stem cells are able to take on the characteristics of the cornea, lens and retina.

‘Importantly, it demonstrates that one cell type – the corneal epithelium – could be further grown in the lab and then transplanted on to a rabbit’s eye where it was functional, achieving recovered vision.

‘Our work not only holds potential for developing cells for treatment of other areas of the eye, but could set the stage for future human clinical trials of anterior eye transplantation to restore visual function.

Continue reading

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).