Looking into the future: A stem cell development to cure blindness, plus a playlist of visionary talks
Originally posted on TED Blog:
Scientists in London have achieved a significant breakthrough on the road to curing blindness this week.
Certain kinds of blindness are caused when photoreceptors — the cells in the retina that react with light and send an electrical signal to the brain — die off. Researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London have, for the first time, created a technique to transform stem cells into photoreceptors and inject them into the eyes of mice. The BBC reports that studies of this technique in humans are not terribly far off. Says lead researcher Robin Ali, “Five years is a now a realistic aim for starting a clinical trial.”
Stem cell research is a hot topic in science and TED has had many speakers on the topic. At TEDGlobal 2012, the founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), Susan Solomon, spoke on the incredible promise of research with stem cells. She finds herself very encouraged by this news.