Breakthrough: Scientists Turn Stem Cells Into Tissue That Allows Humans To See

Breakthrough: Scientists Turn Stem Cells Into Tissue That Allows Humans To See
World
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Scientists have taken a major step towards restoring vision for blind people with the help of stem cells. Human-derived stem cells can spontaneously form the tissue that develops into the part of the eye which allows us to see, according to a new study. 

Researchers say transplantation of this tissue in the future could help patients with visual impairments see clearly.

Senior study author Doctor Yoshiki Sasai, of the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan, said: ‘This is an important milestone for a new generation of regenerative medicine.

‘Our approach opens a new avenue to the use of human stem cell-derived complex tissues for therapy, as well as for other medical studies related to pathogenesis and drug discovery.’

During development the light-sensitive retina forms from a structure known as the optic cup. In the new study, Doctor Sasai and his team were able to encourage this structure to emerge from stem cells derived from human embryos.

The cells are controversial as creating them requires the destruction of a human embryo – a move that is opposed by pro-life groups.

The hESC-derived cells formed the correct 3D shape and the two layers of the optic cup, including a layer containing a large number of light-responsive cells called photoreceptors. 


Because retinal degeneration primarily results from damage to these cells, the hESC-derived tissue could be ideal transplantation material.

Dr Sasai, said: ‘This study opens the door to understanding human-specific aspects of eye development that researchers were not able to investigate before.’

The findings were published in the journal Stem Cell.

Elite.

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Preston Waters

Preston Waters is a thinker. He's not your traditional philosophical persona, however, as he leaves no topic untouched. Covering all the bases, from business to women, Preston Waters is the ultimate man's man for Gen-Y.

More In World

World Sean Levinson

White Woman Sues Sperm Bank After Having A Black Baby

A Chicago-area sperm bank is being sued by a white Ohio woman after it mistakenly sent her vials of sperm from an African American man. Jennifer Cramblett, who ordered sperm from a white man for her and her partner, only learned that her daughter, Payton, would be half-black after becoming pregnant in April of 2012. […]

World Emily Arata

Girl Miraculously Found In Mexico After Missing For 12 Years

Sabrina Allen went missing 12 years ago and has finally been returned to the custody of her father, Greg. Allen, who disappeared from her Austin, Texas, home at just 4 years old, was kidnapped by her mother, Dara Llorens. As per the terms of Llorens’ custody agreement, she took the little girl for a weekend visit. […]

World Sean Levinson

Ebola Patient In The US May Have Exposed Dozens To The Disease

The man identified as the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US came into contact with over a dozen people, some of whom were children, before being diagnosed and quarantined. According to Dallas news station WFAA, five children ranging from elementary to high school students may have been exposed to the virus and […]

World Sean Levinson

Jail Had Absolutely No Clue Prisoner Escaped Until Lawyer Tried To Visit

A Washington state inmate is back in jail after his disappearance went completely unnoticed for two days. According to the Everett Herald, 19-year-old Rhyan Vasquez simply walked out of an unguarded door in Marysville City Jail on September 22 after attending Bible study at a visitation area. Surveillance video shows Vasquez walking into a hallway, […]

Also On Elite

Strategy

5 Common Misconceptions About The Federal Minimum Wage In The US

Minimum wage has been a hotly contested topic since it was first introduced in Washington in 1912. It started as a state-by-state initiative — until the first federal minimum wage was instituted in 1933, at 25 cents per hour. The federal minimum wage was quickly ruled unconstitutional until 1938, when Congress passed a law allowing for […]

World

This Chart Makes An Alarming Case For Why You Should Vaccinate Your Kids

Put the campaign against vaccinating children to rest with the help of a simple, terrifying chart. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published a statement regarding the record number of measles cases recorded so far this year. Between January and August 2014, 592 cases of measles have been reported to the National Center for Immunization […]