Posted: September 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Take the eye. The human eye is a wonder as a sensory device, but it is prone to injury and in humans to degenerative illnesses such as macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. Stem cells are being investigated on a number of fronts for treatments for vision impairment and blindness. The best example might be the work of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), which I gave my 2011 Award for Stem Cell Company of the Year to, using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs), which is now in combined Phase I/II FDA-approved clinical trials for treating two different forms of macular degeneration. Very exciting. One ACT patient is running a blog that I found very interesting. However, at the same time, bionics researchers are making striking progress to help restore vision as well. Right here at UC Davis, where I am a professor, work was announced today (I’m not involved) in which a bionic telescope is implanted into patients’ eyes who also suffer macular degeneration. Neato! And it seems to work! (via Bionics Vs Stem Cells: Sci-Fi Becoming Reality As These Two Cool Technologies Advance)

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