Blind World Magazine

Retinal Degeneration.
Restoring Vision With Stem Cells.

January 17, 2006.
Saturday Evening Post - Indianapolis,IN,USA.

Scientists have derived human retinal cells in the laboratory from human embryonic stem cells, a breakthrough that could lead to therapeutic uses of stem cells in treating macular degeneration and other degenerative eye diseases.

The ongoing research, published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, was developed by collaborators at Wake Forest University, the University of Chicago, and Advanced Cell Technology.

"Millions of patients with retinal degeneration might conceivably benefit from these cells in the future," said Robert Lanaza, medical director at Advanced Cell Technology and senior author of the study. "An important next step will be to test the ability of these cells to restore visual function in both humans and animal models."

The use of stem cells is an exciting area of research because they provide a pathway of making many desperately needed cell types for use in medicine.

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