• The process, known as “optogenetics,” uses a modified virus to introduce the proteins directly into surviving vision cells deep within the eye. They hope that the research could give rise to new therapies that reverse blindness in people.
  • The study relies on the fact that when people suffer from losing light-sensing cells over a period of time, known as ‘progressive degenerative blindness,’ vision cells in deeper layers of the eye remain intact. While these cells cannot sense light, many of the signaling pathways are the same.
  • One in 300 people will, at some point in their life, suffer from complete or partial blindness as the light-sensing cells in their eyes degrade. The researchers hope that this study will move things closer to being able to reverse this, and give them their sight back.

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