'Signal Sending' Glasses Could Restore Lost Vision

Technology helps blind mice see
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2012 3:42 PM CDT
'Signal Sending' Glasses Could Restore Lost Vision
Eye researchers see more hope for those with vision loss.   (Flickr)

More good news for the estimated 20 million people who have lost or will lose their eyesight worldwide. Researchers have found a way to restore lost vision in mice, and they say the same technology can likely be developed for humans within two years, pending funding, reports Bloomberg. Scientists focused on diseases that affect the retina, the part of the eye responsible for translating light into electrical signals, which are then sent to the brain and interpreted as images.

After studying healthy eyes, researchers were able to decipher the code the retina uses to send the signals in mice. They then injected the mice models' eyes with a virus that contained light-sensitive cells, and used a prosthetic pair of glasses to mimic the code and send electric impulses to the brain, as a normal eye would. A researcher familiar with the study said that the technology could present a "reasonable solution" for those with degenerative disease of the retina. "It's a major step, it’s elegant, and it works." (More blindness stories.)

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