Algae genes for better vision
Researchers think they may be able to replace damaged cells in the retina with similar ones found in algae and treat blindness.
The technique has worked in mice and now scientists believe they can begin human trials within two years.
“The idea is to develop a treatment for blindness,” Alan Horsager of USC told New Scientist. In a working retina, nerve cells convert light into electrical and chemical signals, which are sent to the brain via the optic nerve. Since algae is sensitive to light, it would make sense their cells would replenish damaged cells in a human’s retina – via injection.
"It's good on paper, and it is clear they are heading for a clinical trial with the information they are gathering," said Pete Coffey, at University College London.
"The question is how good is it going to be? Just light/dark or are people going to be able to read large texts."
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