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New Hope for Acid burns to the eye...

Every year, thousands of people suffer chemical burns to their eyes resulting in blindness.? A recent study of patients who received adult stem cell transplants found that the patients had their vision restored. The astounding results showed that the treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others with the benefits lasting up to 10 years so far. One successful stem cell recipient has near-normal vision despite his eyes being severely damaged more than 60 years ago. The stem cell transplants would not benefit people who have damage to the optic nerve or suffer from macular degeneration. People who are completely blind in both eyes would not be able to take advantage of the therapy either since the procedure requires that some healthy tissue be available for transplant. Adult stem cells differ from embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are found throughout the human body. Embryonic stem cells require the destruction of the human embryo when harvested. Since the adult stem cells come from the patients' own bodies, there is no need for anti-rejection drugs.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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