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Groundbreaking procedure may be the cure for macular degeneration

A 60-year-old woman in London was the recipient of the first embryonic stem cell operation and she is the first of ten patients who are taking part in a trial. The woman suffered from the wet form of macular degeneration and was classified as legally blind. Surgeons at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London took a single stem cell from an embryo and grew a group of cells in the lab which were then transplanted into the eye. Doctors deemed the transplant a success but it will be several months before they are able to determine the impact on her sight but they are hopeful because they were able to successfully duplicate the damaged cells which are the cause of macular degeneration. In addition to treating the wet form of macular degeneration, scientists believe that it will be able to be used to treat the dry form as well. If the procedure proves to be successful, it could become to macular degeneration sufferers what cataract surgery is to cataract patients and be routinely offered.*

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