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Stem cell reservoir found in the human eye

Researchers at the University of Southhampton have discovered stem cells in the human eye that can be changed into photo-receptor cells which may then be implanted into damaged eyes and reverse blindness. These potentially sight-saving cells were discovered in an area of the eye known as the corneal limbus. This discovery will hopefully lead to treatments for macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa which are both conditions caused by a loss of photo-receptor cells. The stem cells are even found in the eyes of the elderly which means that they are very accessible and since they are adult stem cells, there would be no fear of rejection by the patient's body. More research is needed because so far, scientists have only demonstrated that the concept of using these cells works in the lab and no human trials have been conducted. Clinical trials are slated to begin within five years.*

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