Science

Blind animals regained some of their light thanks to a new method

Scientists in the United States said they first restored sight to a blind spot on their mothers due to a new gene-regenerating technique that leaves promises for new treatments for blind people, although it is still too early to say whether this really can happen in the future.

The researchers, led by the neuroscientist Bo Chen, of the Icahn Medical School in New York, who published the publication in the journal Nature, according to Science and British “Indipendent”, have shown, through experiments initially in fish-zebras and then in mice, that it is possible to convert neural retinal eye lens cells (so-called “Miller glial cells”) into rods, that is, vital cellular photoreceptors that perceive changes in light, patterns, and motions.

If it turns out that it is feasible to create healthy human photoreceptors in the future to replace the damaged ones, then even blind-born people, as well as those who gradually lost sight later in old age, will be able to see again, to a certain degree at least . The new method involves two phases: the first one introduces a gene that regulates a protein that causes proliferation of the glial cells of Miller, while the second stage is cell reprogramming as these cells are now converted to rod-photoreceptors.