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Scientists discover genetic changes linked to a major risk factor for blinding trachoma
Another clue to the workings of trachoma -- the world's leading infectious cause of blindness -- has been revealed in a new study. Researchers identified markers of genetic regulation present in the early stages of infection that could predispose children to developing the condition in its long-term, severe form. (2016-02-16)

DOE labs, universities and second sight partner to speed development of 'artificial retina'
In an effort to speed the development of an artificial retina that could potentially help millions of people blinded by retinal diseases, five DOE national laboratories, a private company and three universities have signed agreements to form a research partnership. The first prototype implants contain 16 electrodes. The next prototype, with 50-100 electrodes, is in preclinical trials. The project's (2004-10-14)

HWI scientist first in world to unravel structure of key breast cancer target enzyme
Most people know that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women affecting about 1 in 8 women in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Seventy-five to 80 percent of all breast cancer tumors are estrogen-fed. A key estrogen-related breakthrough has been discovered by a scientist in Buffalo, NY which can be the basis for developing customized novel breast cancer drugs that cause minimal side effects. (2009-01-07)

A world without color -- researchers find gene mutation that strips color, reduces vision
People with achromatopsia, an inherited eye disorder, see the world literally in black and white. Worse yet, their extreme sensitivity to light makes them nearly blind in bright sunlight. Now, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health System have identified a previously unknown gene mutation that underlies this disorder. (2015-06-01)

Transplanted photoreceptor precursor cells restore visual function in mice with retinal degeneration
Scientists have successfully transplanted light-sensing cells called photoreceptors directly into the eyes of mice and restored their visual function. The achievement is based on a novel technology in which the cells are introduced at a particular stage in their development. The experiment has potential implications for human eye diseases that dim the sight of millions of people. (2006-11-08)

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)

Will we hear the light?
University of Utah scientists used invisible infrared light to make rat heart cells contract and toadfish inner-ear cells send signals to the brain. The discovery someday might improve cochlear implants for deafness and lead to devices to restore vision, maintain balance and treat movement disorders like Parkinson's. (2011-03-27)

MUHC and McGill scientists identify gene for debilitating vitamin B12 disease
MUHC and McGill scientists have identified a gene responsible for Combined Methylmalonic aciduria (MMA) and Homocystinuria -- a disease that impairs the body's ability to handle vitamin B12 and contributes to heart disease, stroke and dementia. The research, published in Nature Genetics this week began more than 20 years ago, and will allow doctors to perform earlier diagnosis, assess 'carriers' of the disease and open the door to new and improved treatments for this disease. (2005-11-30)

First awards for FIC global health research initiative program for new foreign investigators
Fogarty International Center and nine NIH partner institutes award sixteen new grants support the re-entry of young NIH-trained foreign investigators from the developing world to their home countries. Combined financial commitment from FIC and its NIH partners is approximately $1 million for the first year of these five-year awards. Total support will be approximately $5 million over five years. (2002-12-04)

NIDCD-funded chemosensory researchers present findings at AChemS 2010 Meeting
Scientists supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one of the National Institutes of Health, will be presenting their latest research findings at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. (2010-04-19)

Case Western Reserve receives $10M to study retinal disease, develop new treatments
The Departments of Pharmacology and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have been awarded a $10.1 million grant from the National Eye Institute to research and develop new treatments for diseases of the retina, a leading cause of blindness. (2010-12-28)

Next generation gene therapy
Inspired by earlier successes using gene therapy to correct an inherited type of blindness, investigators are poised to extend their approach to other types of blinding disorders. In this study, the team compared the safety and efficiency of delivery in an animal model of two different types of vectors. This preclinical work will guide dose-level formulation and type of vector to deliver genes to treat blindness caused by the loss of photoreceptors. (2011-06-22)

'Blind' cells see the light; maybe someday humans will, too
UC Berkeley neuroscientist Richard Kramer teamed up with chemist Dirk Trauner to reengineer a nerve cell ion channel into a remote controlled switch that allows them to turn nerve cells on or off with different colors of light. The trick allows them to make cells or small organisms sensitive to light, and also to confer sight on nerve cells in the eye when the normal light-sensitive photoreceptors have died off. (2004-11-21)

USC awarded multi-million dollar engineering research center by National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Southern California $17 million to fund a new center that is expected to move the Los Angeles region to the forefront of the growing biotechnology industry. (2003-10-01)

A new generation of artificial retinas based on 2D materials
Scientists report they have successfully developed and tested the world's first ultrathin artificial retina that could vastly improve on existing implantable visualization technology for the blind. The flexible 2-D material-based device could someday restore sight to the millions of people with retinal diseases. The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. (2018-08-20)

New type of retinal prosthesis could better restore sight to blind, Stanford study says
Using tiny solar-panel-like cells surgically placed underneath the retina, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have devised a system that may someday restore sight to people who have lost vision because of certain types of degenerative eye diseases. (2012-05-13)

The National Academies' Distinguished Speaker Series runs Jan. 17-March 21, 2007
The National Academies announce today the winter 2007 program for Distinctive Voices at the Beckman Center, held at the Academies' Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, 100 Academy Drive, Irvine, Calif. The winter series of speakers will explore the far-reaching role of science, technology and medicine in our lives, and highlight innovations, discoveries and emerging issues in an engaging forum. (2006-12-20)

Vilcek Foundation Honors prominent cell biologist and young researchers of promise
The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Vilcek Foundation Prizes, recognizing immigrant contributions to the American arts and sciences. Cell biologist Peter Walter will be honored with the $100,000 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science. The Creative Promise Prizes, which include awards of $50,000 each, will be presented to Sun Hur, Rob Knight, and Franziska Michor. (2015-01-26)

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Highlights include: Household disinfectant potential cause of antibiotic resistance, Bacterial infection possible cause of liver disease, and Existing antiviral potential treatment for smallpox. (2002-11-11)

A drug against AIDS could be effective against the herpes virus
Scientists at the IRB Barcelona headed by the coordinator of the Structural Biology Program, Miquel Coll, have published a study that demonstrates that raltegravir, the drug for the treatment of AIDS that is sold by Merck, cancels the function of an essential protein for the replication of one kind of herpes virus. This study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, is the first step towards the development of a drug against the entire herpes virus family. (2010-09-23)

July 2004 Ophthalmology journal
Studies from the July 2004 issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, are now available. (2004-07-01)

The CRISPR Journal debuts with articles by Rodolphe Barrangou, Fyodor Urnov, et al.
The CRISPR Journal, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announces the publication of its groundbreaking inaugural issue. (2018-02-15)

Harrington Discovery Institute announces 2015 partnership scholars
The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio -- part of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development -- has announced 2015 Harrington Scholars selected in collaboration with R&D partners University of Oxford, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and Foundation Fighting Blindness. These Harrington Discovery Institute collaborations offer selected Harrington grant winners funding and expert pharmaceutical guidance to move discoveries along the path to drug development. (2015-08-26)

Emergent, NSF-funded biotech at 2016 BIO Innovation Zone
The US health care system has a tremendous need for novel high- (and low-) tech solutions to increase its quality, agility and affordability. (2016-06-02)

Team led by Scripps Scientists increases understanding of two types of blindness
A collaborative team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions has shed light on the causes of and potential treatment for two blinding conditions known as macular telangiectasia and retinal angiomatous proliferation, types of macular degeneration. (2009-02-06)

The $6 billion (hu)man is becoming reality, as bionics restores or expands humans' abilities
At Experimental Biology 2006, some of the leading scientists in the rapidly expanding field of bionics explain how much of what was once fiction is today at least partial reality - including electronically-powered legs, arms, and eyes like those given TV's Six Million Dollar Man 30-plus years ago. (2006-04-03)

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