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Restored vision in mice offers hope for the blind

Researchers have published results of a recent study in Nature Biotechnology announcing the successful restoration of vision to mice using retinal stem cells. The stem cells were taken from mice embryos and after being cultured in a lab dish, they were injected into the retinas of mice. The loss of photoreceptor cells is the culprit behind degenerative eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. This current research involved growing the embryonic stem cells so that they differentiated into immature photoreceptors. This is done utilizing a revolutionary new technique that replicates the shape of a retina. Creating the different types of adult cells and tissues had always been problematic because the cell culture that had been used was not able to recreate the developmental process that normally happens within the embryo. The next step in the research process is to refine the technique using human cells and move on to clinical trials.*

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