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Contact Lenses Cultured with Stem Cells Cure Blindness

As an avid reader, my eyesight is one of my most precious assets. In the “what limb would you give up first” game, the eyes are the last to go so any cure or treatment for blindness is always welcomed with great relief. Earlier this year, there were reports that stem cell research had developed a cure for macular degeneration. Now comes the news that contact lenses cultured with stem cells are curing blindness. What a miraculous breakthrough this is.

All three patients were blind in one eye. The researchers extracted stem cells from their working eyes, cultured them in contact lenses for 10 days, and gave them to the patients. Within 10 to 14 days of use, the stem cells began recolonizing and repairing the cornea.

Via Gizmodo.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Raine
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 08:18:19

    Oh my, thank you, Jane. I hadn’t heard this–and as someone who has blindness running through the family, this is the best of news.

  2. Jaci Burton
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 08:59:52

    This is wicked amazing! Stem cell research FTW!

  3. DS
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 12:26:00

    Because of the aging population macular degeneration is on the rise. I’m pleased to hear of any new treatment.

  4. nutmeag
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 13:18:31

    Wow, this is the 2nd time in two days that y’all have picked up on the same story I read in one of my geek blogs. You guys rock.

  5. Betsy C.
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 19:22:29

    I’m legally blind and I still read over 60 books per year. I actually read *more* than I did before I started having vision problems. Losing your sight does not mean having to give up reading, it just means having to find different ways of accessing books. There’s large print, magnifying devices, braille, text to speech, recorded audio, and even older devices like the Optacon.

  6. azteclady
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 19:49:01

    Oh my gawd, what wonderful, wonderful news! Thank you for posting this, Jane!

    @Betsy C: yes, there are other means of reading–but there are also many things one can’t do if blind, such as driving, which may be essential to one’s life in other ways. Sight give a person a lot of freedom, no matter how you slice it.

  7. kimber an
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 08:14:41

    I’d rather be blind and hold and love the precious, living baby whose dead body the stem cells would have been taken from to enable me to see again.

  8. Cathy
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:16:40

    Kimber An, I don’t know if you noticed, but in this instance the stem cells were taken from the (living, adult) patients themselves.

  9. M
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:33:30

    Kimber An, when your precious, living baby comes down with a life-threatening illness that may be treated and even cured via a pinhead-sized group of cells with the potential of becoming another precious, living baby, come back and tell me how you feel, then. When you’ve existed for weeks and months and years in a state of constant sick terror that you’ll lose the child you’ve loved and cared for, please tell me then how you can value a handful of cells over the life of that child in your arms.

    Who knows, maybe you’ll still be able to. Having been there, I can’t.

  10. Jane
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:51:08

    I hate to do this and I support stem cell research but I think that this could turn into something very ugly very fast so I am closing the comments. (I deleted a comment so am not referring to any comment that is upthread).

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