"AAQ" Chemical Temporarily Lets Blind Mice See
July 30, 2012 9:09 AM
comment(s) - last by
It aims to treat humans with retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration
An international team of researchers may have found a way to eventually restore sight in
humans with blindness
caused by certain diseases.
Richard Kramer, study leader and professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California - Berkeley, along with Dr. Russell Van Gelder, co-author from the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington - Seattle and researchers from the University of Munich in Germany collaborated on the research.
The researchers discovered that a certain chemical, AAQ, is capable of temporarily restoring sight in mice. It does this by bringing light sensitive cells in the retina back to life.
In certain diseases, light sensitive cells in the retina die off. But AAQ acts as a photoswitch that attaches to protein ion channels on retinal cells, and when switched on by light, AAQ changes the flow of ions through these channels. The neurons are then activated, causing normally dead cells to be sensitive to light once again.
This method was tested out in mice that had genetic mutations, causing light sensitive cells in the retina to die within months after birth. Small amounts of AAQ were injected into the mice, and their
sight was restored
. They would avoid the light when being exposed to it, which is not typical of blind mice. However, the restoration was temporary.
Kramer hopes to keep working with the AAQ chemical and make it possible to give to humans at some point. There are better versions of AAQ in the making as we speak, which activate neurons for days rather than just hours. It aims to treat those with retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, which both result in the death of light sensitive cells in the retina.
"The advantage of this approach is that it is a simple chemical, which means that you can change the dosage, you can use it in combination with other therapies, or you can discontinue the therapy if you don't like the results," said Kramer. "As improved chemicals become available, you could offer them to patients. You can't do that when you surgically implant a chip or after you genetically modify somebody."
This study was published in the journal
on July 26.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Ohhh... squeak squeak
7/30/2012 11:53:12 AM
Masturbate away, little mice. Masturbate away.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
Money Reader App Helps Blind iPhone Users Recognize U.S. Currency
March 10, 2011, 10:01 AM
Bionic Eyes Implants Give Partial Vision to Blind Patients
April 23, 2008, 10:17 AM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Most Popular Articles
America's Largest Cable Company, Comcast, Sees Internet Subscriptions Pass TV
May 4, 2015, 2:46 PM
Can id Software's Doom Find Its Way Out of a 7+ Year Development Hell?
May 19, 2015, 7:38 PM
Oculus Rift Confirms "Pause" in OS X, Linux Development, Some Devs are Mad
May 18, 2015, 11:36 PM
The Pirate Bay Loses Its Iconic Swedish Dot SE Domains
May 20, 2015, 6:31 PM
In-Depth: Apple's ~$1B Court Victory Over Samsung to be Cut up to a Third
May 18, 2015, 9:20 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information