Science News – Helping the blind to see

A new treatment is showing early promise for both
felines and humans. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have
developed a microchip implant that has helped numerous cats with severe visual
impairment or complete blindness regain partial vision.

The surgical implant compensates for the damage
done by retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that leads to the death of retinal cells
and, eventually, blindness. The microchip is equipped with thousands of tiny
diodes that react to light, sending electrical impulses to different parts of
the retina, which the brain interprets as an
image.

Because cat’s eyes are
similar in size and construction, these scientists hope that one day this
research and development will lead to a cure for blindness not only for
companion animals, but also for humans.


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Posted: 03/14/2007 at 09:44 AM
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Posted: 03/14/2007 at 09:44 AM
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