SCIENCE IS SO KEWL! Totally Blind Mice Get Sight Back
The team in Oxford said their studies closely resemble the treatments that would be needed in people with degenerative eye disease.
Similar results have already been achieved with night-blind mice.
Experts said the field was advancing rapidly, but there were still questions about the quality of vision restored.
Patients with retinitis pigmentosa gradually lose light-sensing cells from the retina and can become blind.
It’s the first proof that you can take a completely blind mouse, put the cells in and reconstruct the entire light-sensitive layer”
They injected “precursor” cells which will develop into the building blocks of a retina once inside the eye. Two weeks after the injections a retina had formed, according to the findings presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
Prof Robert MacLaren said: “We have recreated the whole structure, basically it’s the first proof that you can take a completely blind mouse, put the cells in and reconstruct the entire light-sensitive layer.”
Previous studies have achieved similar results with mice that had a partially degenerated retina. Prof MacLaren said this was like “restoring a whole computer screen rather than repairing individual pixels”.