Stem Cells Stop Vision Loss in Rats with Degenerative Eye Disease
Researchers have taken a promising step forward in using stem cells to treat eye diseases. In a paper published today online in the journal Cloning and Stem Cells, Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, MA, used embryonic stem cells to generate retinal pigment epithelium–photoreceptor support cells that are lost in macular degeneration.
The cells were then implanted into rats with eye damage similar to that occurring in degenerative eye disease that causes the animals to lose both their photoreceptors and their sight. Treated animals showed a 100 percent improvement in vision compared with untreated controls.
Restoring vision could be a promising early use of stem cell therapies. Unlike for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, vision scientists know exactly what cells they need to replace. In addition, the eye is easy to access and isn’t as sensitive to immune rejection as other organs (see “Using Stem Cells to Cure Blindness”).
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.