Print 18 comment(s) - last by bill4.. on Apr 8 at 9:40 AM

Could be used to help scientists learn how to treat blindness, as well as diseases that can hinder eyesight

Researchers from the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology have become the first to grow a complex organ using embryonic stem cells from mice.

Yoshiki Sasai, study leader from the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, and a team of researchers, have used embryonic stem cells from mice to create a rudimentary eye, which could eventually allow scientists to treat blindness and other eye-related problems. 

Other researchers in the past have participated in similar research, but were not able to create a complex organ such as the eye from a group of cells. For instance, Professor Robin Ali, a molecular geneticist at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London, successfully transplanted light-sensitive cells from newborn mice to the retinas of adult mice. Ali is still unsure as to whether the vision of the adult mice has improved. 

Now, Sasai has grown an eye by using an optic cup, which is a structure that holds light-sensitive cells and neurons required to see properly. The optic cup is responsible for forming the retina. The team then cultured a floating cluster of embryonic stem cells, and the cells required to make the eye took shape on their own. The result was a 2mm diameter eye, which is the size of an eye of an infant mouse. 

Sasai hopes this research can be used to help scientists learn how to treat blindness, as well as diseases that can hinder eyesight. Currently, there are 3,500 people with a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which causes degeneration of the retina. 

In addition, Sasai would also like to see "banks" of healthy retina cells created so that they can be transplanted into patients when needed. 

"We hope such transplantation may recover vision, at least to some partial extent, in patients who lost their eyesight," said Sasai.

This study was published in Nature.

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Keep working on this
By FITCamaro on 4/7/2011 9:41:34 AM , Rating: 3
I'm blind as sh*t.

Would be nice to have an alternative to laser surgery.

RE: Keep working on this
By GulWestfale on 4/7/2011 9:56:57 AM , Rating: 5
you know what the americans will use this technology for, right? helping the blind? regrowing amputated limbs? replacing failed organs?
breast augmentation.

RE: Keep working on this
By AssBall on 4/7/2011 10:02:35 AM , Rating: 5
You make it sound like a bad thing...

RE: Keep working on this
By CrazyBernie on 4/7/2011 10:02:33 AM , Rating: 2
Watch out for the Repo Men.

RE: Keep working on this
By phrizzo on 4/7/2011 3:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
CrazyBernie: Repo Men

Your right! Have you ever seen the musical "Repo! The Genetic Opera"? It's great - in a Rocky Horror meets Mystery Science Theater 3000.

GulWestfale: Americans wouldn't use it for breast enlargement ... now penis enlargment - that's a different story.

Check out the mouse with an ear growing on its back:

RE: Keep working on this
By Belard on 4/7/2011 5:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
Repo Men, rip off - but still could have been a bit better, but it was rather PG13 and the ending in the repo room didn't make much sense.

Also the business model of selling the parts SO HIGH that pretty much almost nobody can afford the "parts" - such as the RICH guy in the penthouse... would not work. Many parts would not be re-usable and killing patients would be a loss.

Repo! The Genetic Opera is the one to really see. Love how it was made on such a tiny budget for the love of the story. ;)
Still, its rude that the studio ripped off the story from the director... :(

RE: Keep working on this
By quiksilvr on 4/7/2011 10:09:17 AM , Rating: 3
Don't forget about penile enhancement. Ah, the future is looking bright.

RE: Keep working on this
By Mitch101 on 4/7/2011 11:51:48 AM , Rating: 5
Then I would have to develop a likable personality due to increased competition.

RE: Keep working on this
By Belard on 4/7/2011 5:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
Scratch that.... why just have one when you can have TWO!!

RE: Keep working on this
By kattanna on 4/7/2011 11:15:44 AM , Rating: 5
you know what the americans will use this technology for, right? helping the blind? regrowing amputated limbs? replacing failed organs? nope. breast augmentation.


so they get eye transplants on their boobs and then now we can tell them why yes my dear.. i am looking at your eyes


RE: Keep working on this
By delphinus100 on 4/7/2011 8:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
If that's the 'killer' app,it's fine with me.

The rest will come...

RE: Keep working on this
By IvanAndreevich on 4/7/2011 11:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
Funny thing is it, it will popularize it quickly, and bring the costs down for other procedures using the same technology :)

RE: Keep working on this
By bill4 on 4/8/2011 9:31:21 AM , Rating: 3
I like how it's "the americans". those big bad "americans".

Anyways this will never amount to anything, science is too stupid. 15 years ago they were swearing regrowing human teeth for dentistry was right around the corner (google something like "regrow human teeth", and note the ancient dates of all the articles that come up). of course, never happened. And teeth would be umpteen million times easier than eyes. These types of stories always promise a lot and NOTHING ever comes of them.

Hell, the last medical thing I read was about how drug resistant bacteria was getting more and more widespread and frightening. Pretty sure science should try to figure that simple one out (as if they can) before growing any eyes, just sayin.

Pretty odd how out of all these comments, none will point that out. Do you guys not notice how routine these types of stories promising big medical advances are, and how they NEVER pan out? Are you that oblivious to your surroundings? Oh well, guess thats why most americans believe Global warming is real...

Eye Replacement
By psenechal on 4/7/2011 12:55:12 PM , Rating: 3
My daughter had retinoblastoma as an infant and lost her complete right eye to the cancer. She currently wears a prosthesis for looks. Even if they can't actually create one to help people like her see again out of that eye, it could do wonders for making her missing eye appear completely normal. She's nearly 13 now and is cancer free, but VERY self conscious about the way she looks.

I really hope this technology goes somewhere.

RE: Eye Replacement
By Communism on 4/7/2011 3:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you have millions to spend on whatever experimental surgery they will come up with this, then try not to get your hopes up too much.

Its all about the money.

The reason why so many people die from easily treatable diseases in this country.

RE: Eye Replacement
By bobcpg on 4/7/2011 4:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
Its a catch 22. Many of those "treatable" diseases are treatable because of money.

Can you suggest a better option?

RE: Eye Replacement
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 9:30:07 AM , Rating: 2
You can't look at his name and tell what he's gonna say?

RE: Eye Replacement
By bill4 on 4/8/2011 9:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, far more people die from easily treatable disease in communist countries and more socialist ones than america.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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