Current Photoreceptors News and Events

Current Photoreceptors News and Events, Photoreceptors News Articles.
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Improved vectors for ocular gene therapy
Strategies based on the use of gene therapy to mitigate the effects of mutations that cause blindness are undergoing rapid development. Novel gene vectors now achieve widespread gene delivery and reduce the risks associated with these approaches. (2021-02-22)

Color is in the eye of the beholder
Researchers led by Harvard University develop a novel method to express long wavelength invertebrate opsin proteins in vitro and detail the molecular structure of long- and short-wavelengths in the opsins of the lycaenid butterfly, Eumaeus atala, discovering previously unknown opsins that result in red-shifted long wavelength sensitivity in their visual system. The new method pinpoints the specific base pair changes responsible for the spectral tuning of these visual proteins and reveal how vision genes evolved. (2021-02-09)

Marine organisms use previously undiscovered receptors to detect, respond to light
Single-celled organisms in the open ocean use a diverse array of newly discovered genetic tools to detect light, even in tiny amounts, and respond. (2021-02-01)

Scientists identify locations of early prion protein deposition in retina
The earliest eye damage from prion disease takes place in the cone photoreceptor cells, specifically in the cilia and the ribbon synapses, according to a new study of prion protein accumulation in the eye by National Institutes of Health scientists. Prion diseases originate when normally harmless prion protein molecules become abnormal and gather in clusters and filaments in the human body and brain. (2021-01-29)

Researchers use patients' cells to test gene therapy for rare eye disease
Scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have developed a promising gene therapy strategy for a rare disease that causes severe vision loss in childhood. A form of Leber congenital amaurosis, the disease is caused by autosomal-dominant mutations in the CRX gene, which are challenging to treat with gene therapy. (2021-01-28)

Aging-US: Nicotinamide mononucleotide in degenerative model of retinal detachment
'This Aging-US article concludes that NMN administration exerts neuroprotective effects on photoreceptors' (2021-01-25)

Uncovering how plants see blue light
Plants can perceive and react to light across a wide spectrum. New research from the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences shows how plants can respond to blue light in particular by revealing the structure of cryptochrome-2, the molecule that reacts to blue light. (2021-01-04)

Zika virus affects eye development before but not after birth
A new study from UC Davis finds that Zika infection during the first trimester of pregnancy can impact fetal retinal development and cause congenital ocular anomalies. The virus does not appear to affect ocular growth postnatally. (2020-12-18)

Breakthrough optical sensor mimics human eye, a key step toward better AI
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers at Oregon State University are making key advances with a new type of optical sensor that more closely mimics the human eye's ability to perceive changes in its visual field. (2020-12-08)

LSU Health New Orleans discovers drug development target for retinal dystrophies
A team of LSU Health New Orleans researchers reports for the first time that deleting one of the inhibitors of the RPE65 gene in a mouse model that carries a human disease mutation prevents degeneration of cone photoreceptors that are used for daytime high-resolution color vision. (2020-12-01)

UB study identifies new functions in the Machado-Joseph genetic disease
Ataxia is a minority disease with genetic origins, known for its neuromuscular alterations due to the selective loss of neurons in the cerebellum. University of Barcelona researchers have identified new functions in the ataxin 3 gene (ATXN3) -which causes Machado-Joseph disease, the most common type of ataxia- in the development of retina photoreceptors. These results are relevant also to understand other diseases, such as macular degenerations. (2020-11-25)

Envision color: Activity patterns in the brain are specific to the color you see
Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have decoded brain maps of human color perception. The findings, published today in Current Biology, open a window into how color processing is organized in the brain, and how the brain recognizes and groups colors in the environment. The study may have implications for the development of machine-brain interfaces for visual prosthetics. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health. (2020-11-16)

Research provides a new understanding of how a model insect species sees color
Through an effort to characterize the color receptors in the eyes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, University of Minnesota researchers discovered the spectrum of light it can see deviates significantly from what was previously recorded. (2020-10-26)

Regeneration of eye cells: Warning lights discovered
Moving around in the half-light is difficult but not impossible. To help us in this undertaking we have the rods, a type of photoreceptors present in the retina of vertebrates, capable of detecting very low lights. They are the protagonists of the new study published in PNAS by a team of researchers of SISSA and CNR-Iom which reveals new and essential details of how the retina works and in particular photoreceptors. (2020-10-23)

Scientists use gene therapy and a novel light-sensing protein to restore vision in mice
A newly developed light-sensing protein called the MCO1 opsin restores vision in blind mice when attached to retina bipolar cells using gene therapy. The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, provided a Small Business Innovation Research grant to Nanoscope, LLC for development of MCO1. The company is planning a U.S. clinical trial for later this year. (2020-10-21)

How night vision is maintained during retinal degenerative disease
New insight on how people with retinal degenerative disease can maintain their night vision for a relatively long period of time has been published today in the open-access eLife journal. (2020-09-22)

Seeing the eye like never before
In a big step for ophthalmology, scientists created a method to view the inner workings of the eye and its diseases at the cellular level. Currently, researchers can only see a broad section of the retina. This new technology allows them to zoom into just one part of a cell. In their words, they have accelerated the process for vision restoration. (2020-09-10)

From photons to feelings: Researchers reveal a color palette in brain
A recent study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Peking University described in greater detail than ever before the anatomical embodiment of color sensations in the cerebral cortex, linking brain structure to perceptual function. (2020-08-26)

OCT-based technique captures subtle details of photoreceptor function
Researchers have developed a new instrument that has, for the first time, measured tiny light-evoked deformations in individual rods and cones in a living human eye. The new approach could one day improve detection of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in people over 55 worldwide. (2020-08-18)

Researchers develop cell injection technique that could help reverse vision loss
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have developed a new method of injecting healthy cells into damaged eyes. The technique could point the way toward new treatments with the potential to reverse forms of vision loss that are currently incurable. (2020-08-13)

Not just light: The sensitivity of photoreceptors to mechanical stimuli is unveiled
''We thought we knew almost everything about photoreceptors, but we have proved that is not the case''. With these words, Vincent Torre, Professor of neurobiology of SISSA, comments the results of a new study that, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach and to the use of optical tweezers, reveals for the first time the sensitivity of nerve cells present on the retina to mechanical stimuli and opens up new questions on how they function. The work has been published in PLOS Biology. (2020-07-27)

Researchers uncover a critical early step of the visual process
The key components of electrical connections between light receptors in the eye and the impact of these connections on the early steps of visual signal processing have been identified for the first time, according to research published today in Science Advances by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). (2020-07-08)

Nanotechnology applied to medicine: The first liquid retina prosthesis
Researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia has led to the development of an artificial liquid retinal prosthesis to counteract the effects of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration that cause the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors of the retina, resulting in blindness. The collected data show that this innovative technique is valid to restore the photoreceptive capacity of retinal neurons while preserving their spatial resolution, laying a solid foundation for future clinical trials in humans. (2020-06-29)

Retinitis pigmentosa research probes role of the enzyme DHDDS in this genetic disease
Researchers who made a knock-in mouse-model of the genetic disorder retinitis pigmentosa 59, or RP59, expected to see retinal degeneration and retinal thinning. As reported in the journal Cells, they surprisingly found none, calling into question the commonly accepted -- though never proved -- mechanism for RP59. (2020-06-11)

HKUST scientists develop world's first spherical artificial eye with 3D retina
An international team led by HKUST scientists has developed the world's first 3D artificial eye with capabilities better than existing bionic eyes and in some cases, even exceed those of the human eyes, bringing vision to humanoid robots and new hope to patients with visual impairment. (2020-06-10)

Restoring vision by gene therapy
Latest scientific findings give hope for people with incurable retinal degeneration. (2020-06-04)

'Single pixel' vision in fish helps scientists understand how humans can spot tiny details
Recently discovered 'single-pixel vision' in fish could help researchers understand how humans are able to spot tiny details in their environment -- like stars in the sky. (2020-05-29)

Study finds unexpected suspect in age-related macular degeneration
Scientists have identified an unexpected player in the immune reaction gone awry that causes vision loss in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study published today in eLife. (2020-05-05)

NEI researchers link age-related DNA modifications to susceptibility to eye disease
National Eye Institute (NEI) researchers profiling epigenomic changes in light-sensing mouse photoreceptors have a clearer picture of how age-related eye diseases may be linked to age-related changes in the regulation of gene expression. The findings, published online April 21 in Cell Reports, suggest that the epigenome could be targeted as a therapeutic strategy to prevent leading causes of vision loss, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). (2020-04-21)

Researchers pinpoint potential new therapeutic target for eye disease
Multi-disciplinary work led by researchers from Trinity College Dublin has pinpointed a potential new therapeutic target for treating retinal degeneration. The work has discovered that a protein (SARM1) involved in neuronal cell injury may also have a role in the progression of retinal degeneration. The team also showed that removing the protein from experimental models delays photoreceptor death, giving hope that this may help fight blindness. (2020-04-20)

Researchers restore sight in mice by turning skin cells into light-sensing eye cells
Researchers have discovered a technique for directly reprogramming skin cells into light-sensing rod photoreceptors used for vision, sidestepping the need for stem cells. The lab-made rods enabled blind mice to detect light after the cells were transplanted into the animals' eyes. (2020-04-15)

Do urban fish exhibit impaired sleep?
Melatonin controls the body clock -- high melatonin levels make us feel tired in the evening. However, the hormone also plays an important role in animals' biological rhythms. Artificial light at night -- light pollution -- can suppress the production of melatonin in fish, even at very low light intensities, a finding established by researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). (2020-04-03)

Ultrathin but fully packaged high-resolution camera
The unique structures of biological vision systems in nature inspired scientists to design ultracompact imaging systems. A research group led by Professor Ki-Hun Jeong have made an ultracompact camera that captures high-contrast and high-resolution images. Fully packaged with micro-optical elements such as inverted micro-lenses, multilayered pinhole arrays, and gap spacers on the image sensor, the camera boasts a total track length of 740 μm and a field of view of 73°. (2020-03-23)

CNIC scientists identify an immunological regulatory circuit that may play a central role in ocular diseases
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, opens new perspectives on the study and treatment of vascular diseases of the retina and inflammatory disorders that affect the eye choroid. (2020-03-20)

NIH researchers discover tooth-enamel protein in eyes with dry AMD
A protein that normally deposits mineralized calcium in tooth enamel may also be responsible for calcium deposits in the back of the eye in people with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study from researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI). (2020-03-13)

Biologically inspired ultrathin arrayed camera for high-contrast and high-resolution imaging
The vision systems in nature provide intriguing optical design inspiration for ultracompact imaging systems. Scientists in South Korea have now demonstrated a fully packaged ultrathin insect-eye camera, which offers high contrast and super-resolution imaging by using new optical materials and techniques. This ultrathin arrayed camera could give practical use in mobile devices, advanced surveillance vehicle and endoscopes without technical reservation. (2020-03-03)

A scaffold at the center of our cellular skeleton
When the cells stop dividing, the centrioles migrate to the plasma membrane and allow the formation of primary and mobile cilia, which are used for the transfer of information and the genesis of movement. While performing these biological functions, centrioles are therefore subjected to many physical forces, which they must resist. Scientists (UNIGE) have discovered an internal structure at the center of these nano-cylinders, a cellular scaffolding that maintains the physical integrity of this organelle. (2020-02-20)

Let there be 'circadian' light
Researchers publishing in Current Biology describe the science behind creating lighting to make us all happy and productive indoors. A company is using the technology to create commercial lightbulbs available later this year. (2020-02-20)

New gene therapy method improves vision in mice with congenital blindness
Mice born blind have shown significant improvement in vision after undergoing a new gene therapy developed by a team of Japanese scientists. (2020-02-06)

Fruit flies respond to rapid changes in the visual environment
Researchers have discovered a mechanism employed by the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster that broadens our understanding of visual perception. Their results explain why the eye can correctly evaluate contrast, even in suddenly changing light conditions. (2020-02-05)

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