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Scientists Discover New Way To Reverse Blindness

 
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CherryBlossom View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 04 2014 at 3:23am
http://mic.com/articles/92837/scientists-have-discovered-a-revolutionary-new-way-to-reverse-blindness

Scientists Have Discovered a Revolutionary New Way to Reverse Blindness

Erin Brodwins avatar image By Erin Brodwin  
scientists, have, discovered, a, revolutionary, new, way, to, reverse, blindness, Scientists Have Discovered a Revolutionary New Way to Reverse BlindnessImage Credit: Flickr

The news: Scientists just regrew a human cornea.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Besides potentially having the ability to restore sight to millions, the feat has another astounding component: The researchers did it with human stem cells.

The scientists, a team hailing from Harvard, Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the VA Boston Healthcare System, published their findings in the journal, Nature, on Wednesday.

Researchers have been eyeing special stem cells with the ability to regenerate corneal tissue — the clear sheath that protects the eye and is responsible for two-thirds of our vision — for years.

But there was a problem: While the scientists knew they resided somewhere between the cornea and the whites of the eye, they couldn't find them.

The corneal tissue "has inherent turnover capacity; the cells are being shed and being replaced continuously," said lead researcher Markus Frank of Boston Children's Hospital. They were regenerating so quickly that the scientists couldn't track them down.

Fortunately, the tissue is accompanied by a special marker molecule called ABCB5. The tiny molecule is what prevents the cells from dying — and it led the researchers straight to the cells they needed.

Once they found the stem cells in human donors, the researchers extracted and transplanted them into blind mice whose cells had been removed. Soon, the mice had fully functioning, anatomically correct corneal tissue. And they could see again.

Why it matters: Corneal tissue loss is one of the leading causes of blindness, and 300 million people are visually impaired around the world. In the past, researchers have tried using tissue and cell transplants to help regenerate corneas, but they've had mixed results. This discovery could solve that problem.

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iliveforbhm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 04 2014 at 8:49am
Stem cells are the future boi
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coconess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 04 2014 at 11:37pm
idk how i missed this thread… 

im interested to see more studies done on things other than mice..

i bet this will cost a fortune whenever they finally approve it safe for humans

but we're making progressClap

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bored w/Out Me? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 04 2014 at 11:52pm
This is wonderful. I always feel so sorry for and at the same time feel admiration for the blind that I see navigating their way around the city!!!
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demilee27 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote demilee27 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 05 2014 at 12:27am
Very cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rickysrose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 05 2014 at 1:22am
Sight is so vital, this will be a blessing to so many 

Where did the stem cells come from, when they say donate, does that mean that people are able to give stem cells without sacrificing their own health/sight?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beebeexx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 05 2014 at 5:25am
science is so amazing. when it comes to cell regenerating pig bladders are definitely the future though
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