Researchers from the university of Bern have succeeded in restoring day light vision to a blind mouse in a break through operation, in which they injected proteins to its light sensor cells . The procedure known as optogenetics enters proteins in the cells living deep inside retina. Scientists hope this new technique can potentially restore vision in blind humans, who suffer from” progressive degenerative blindness ” (age related weakening of vision cells with the passage of time).
SURGEONS TREATING MICE
The Optogenetics procedure relies on the study that when people suffer from blindness, the vision cells superficial to eyes perishes, but deep down retinal cells remain intact . While the retinal cells are not able to sense light ,they use the same signalling pathway to the brain as used by vision cells. If the engineered laboratory generated proteins are injected to the retinal cells , as in the case of mice, these cells begin to sense light and sends signals to the brain using the already established pathway.
According to the study published in ‘plos biology’ , prior optogenetics surgical operations to restore vision could not be successful because the injected proteins could only enable the retina to sense high intensity light , which could be damaging to the delicate cells too.This time the specialists enabled the mice eyes to sense the low intense light rays coming from the outside world. Thus, allowing it to visualize the world like other able bodied mouses.
There are high chances for ageing persons to suffer from ‘photo receptor degeneration ‘ which can potentially be too distressing for the patients as they become handicapped for the rest of their lives. simple eye goggles/ glasses can not be helpful in this case.
Further advancement in the optogenetics can immensely help bind people restore their vision enabling them to be independent in their daily life.
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