Embryonic Stem Cells Versus Blindness

Washington Post reports on new embryonic stem cell research from Advanced Cell Technology: scientists "started by developing a reliable method for turning embryonic stem cells into retinal pigment epithelium cells, which nourish the light-sensitive 'photoreceptor' cells in the eye. In macular degeneration, the pigment cells gradually disappear. The researchers achieved the transformation in all 18 stem cell lines they worked with ... treated rats had twice the visual acuity of the untreated rats nearly three months after treatment." Like much of ACT's present work, this is an early stage technology demonstration. It shows an increasingly sophisticated level of control over stem cell differentiation and examples of newly developed tools, processes and infrastructure needed to get the job done.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/20/AR2006092001674.html


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