Blind mice could help humans regain sight

Feb 2006
Cell transplants that restored sight to blind mice have raised hopes that similar kinds of blindness in people could also be cured.

UK and American researchers cautioned that a lot more work needs to be done but said that, in time, it may be possible for doctors to treat conditions that cause irreversible blindness, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye damage.

In a breakthrough described as "stunning", the researchers implanted immature retinal cells into the eyes of the mice which then developed into fully functioning photoreceptors. Photoreceptors are the pixel-like light-sensitive cells in the retina that make it possible to see.

Previous attempts to achieve the same result using undifferentiated stem cells which have not yet acquired a specific function failed.

But in this research, published in the magazine Nature, the scientists used "precursor" cells, which are similar to stem cells but they had already been programmed to become photoreceptors.

They were extracted from newborn mice which were in the process of developing their eyesight.

Research suggests that human embryonic stem cells could be coaxed to become photoreceptor precursors. However the scientists believe a better approach might be to grow the precursors from adult stem cell-like cells found at the margins of the retina. These could then be transplanted into patients.

Dr Robert MacLaren, a member of the team from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, said: "This research is the first to show that photoreceptor transplantation is feasible.

Blind mice could help humans regain sight - Britain - Times Online


Site Founder
Jan 2005
That is great news intangible child! Thanks for the post!

My Uncle (prescott911's father) has been completely blind for a couple of years now. Unfortunately he was in an accident in Italy, which is why my cousins and my Uncle moved back to the states, near us.

I have a feeling one day he might be able to see again. Technology has come a long way and they already have made the blind see...somewhat again, but only specks of light. That was sort of old technology where they had a computer that only ran for a couple of ours a day, that would stimulate the optic nerve when light hit the eye.

Recently, I've read of new technology where they use Fiber Optic wires to replace damage optic nerves. Something like this makes complete sense as optic cables travel light at the fastest possible speeds. Also the fiber optic cables stimulate the brain to transfer more recognizable images.

I sure do hope one day my Uncle will be able to see again.
Jul 2009
Thats quite interesting,i wonder if the research is continuing!

If this doesnt hurt the mice in the process then its even better trying it with Humans also!!

I have heard that ppl getting struck my lightning sometimes jolts the optic nerve into working..

pensacola niceman

Former Staff
Mar 2007
Pensacola, FL
Dude111 said:
If this doesnt hurt the mice in the process then its even better trying it with Humans also!!

Yes, quite. We wouldn't want to do anything that would harm mice - especially gay mice.