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  • binnieo binnieo Sep 14, 2013 2:48 PM Flag

    Or how about this to assuage your doubt in ACT! Cant wait for the results!

    My New Scientist
    Home |Health | News
    Stem-cell treatment restores sight to blind man

    16:37 20 May 2013 by Andy Coghlan
    For similar stories, visit the Stem Cells Topic Guide
    An experimental stem-cell treatment has restored the sight of a man blinded by the degeneration of his retinal cells. The man, who is taking part in a trial examining the safety of using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to reverse two common causes of blindness, can now see well enough to be allowed to drive.

    People undergoing treatment had reported modest improvements in vision earlier in the trial, which began in 2011, but this individual has made especially dramatic progress. The vision in his affected eye went from 20/400 – essentially blind – to 20/40, which is considered sighted.

    "There's a guy walking around who was blind, but now can see," says Gary Rabin, chief executive officer of Advanced Cell Technology, the company in Marlborough, Massachusetts that devised the treatment. "With that sort of vision, you can have a driver's licence."

    In all, the company has so far treated 22 patients who either have dry age-related macular degeneration, a common condition that leaves people with a black hole in the centre of their vision, or Stargardt's macular dystrophy, an inherited disease that leads to premature blindness. The company wouldn't tell New Scientist which of the two diseases the participant with the dramatic improvement has.

    In both diseases, people gradually lose retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. These are essential for vision as they recycle protein and lipid debris that accumulates on the retina, and supply nutrients and energy to photoreceptors – the cells that capture light and transmit signals to the brainThe company is testing treatments for both conditions by turning hESCs into fresh RPE cells, then giving each trial participant a transplant of the cells beneath the retina in one eye.

    Sentiment: Buy

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