The Breakthrough

Surgeons in London are now testing out a new possible cure for blindness using specialized eye cells that are “seeded” at the back of the retina using a tiny patch. These cells regenerate the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which holds the macula or the center/seeing part of the eye. The stem cell trial was first done to a 60 year old woman who is suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and the cells used came from a donated early embryo described as “smaller than a pinhead.” The said embryo was also said to have the “potential of becoming any cell in the body.”

The Implications

It won’t be until Christmas when progress regarding the woman’s vision will be known, however, co-leader of the project Professor Peter Coffey shares that the health of the cells under the retina can be checked by then. Now that this opens up the possibility of regenerating lost neural cells, many are excited to see the results of this trial since it can help many patients who are dealing with AMD.


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