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Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness

sea-maid submitted, created time 7 years 6 months (

A certain protein, histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4), already known to be associated with muscle and bone development, may affect the eyes as well. This discovery could one day lead to treatments that would prevent blindness among people genetically predisposed to develop retinal disease, the scientists said.


Facial expressions of emotion are innate, not learned, says new study

piggy submitted, created time 7 years 7 months (

Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, according to a study published today in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The research suggests that facial expressions of emotion are innate rather than a product of cultural learning. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that sighted and blind individuals use the same facial expressions, producing the same facial muscle movements in response to specific emotional stimuli


Gene Therapy Offers Hope for Blind people

sea-maid submitted, created time 7 years 7 months (

Human gene therapy for a severe form of inherited blindness is showing promise, researchers report.


Stable Blood Sugar Curbs Diabetes Complications

sea-maid submitted, created time 7 years 8 months (

In people with type 1 diabetes, adequate control of blood sugar over the long haul helps reduce the risk of diabetes-related eye and kidney disease, new data suggest.

The findings stem from a look at 1,441 type one diabetic patients followed for roughly nine years as part of the pivotal Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)


Brain Reorganizes to Adjust for Loss of Vision

piggy submitted, created time 7 years 8 months (

A new study from Georgia Tech shows that when patients with macular degeneration focus on using another part of their retina to compensate for their loss of central vision, their brain seems to compensate by reorganizing its neural connections. Age–related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. The study appears in the December edition of the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience


Genetic Differences That Cause Childhood Eye Disease

piggy submitted, created time 7 years 8 months (

ScienceDaily (Nov. 3, 2008) — Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have unlocked part of the mystery underlying a childhood eye disease. New research shows how children with some types of glaucoma end up with missing or extra pieces of DNA.

The missing or extra bits of DNA are called copy number variations (CNVs). The U of A research team had previously shown how they play a major role in causing some types of pediatric glaucoma – a disease that can lead to blindness


Gene Therapy Offers Hope for Blindness

sea-maid submitted, created time 7 years 9 months (

After more than a decade of research, the first gene therapy trials in people with a rare form of blindness are under way, and experts say they are thrilled with the early findings.


Retinal transplants bear threefold fruit

Darkfrog submitted, created time 7 years 10 months (

A formerly clinically blind woman's vision improved from 20/800 to 20/160--from one-fortieth of ordinary vision to one-eighth--after receiving donated retina. Six months after the operation, the started noticing the pendulum in her grandfather clock. For years, she found that she could read large-print books and emails and returned to her hobbies, knitting and sewing. Now, six years after her operation, her vision is fading, but it is still better than it was before the operation


Non-verbal communication, innate or learned?

Darkfrog submitted, created time 7 years 10 months (

This article talks about the assumption that non-verbal signs of pride and shame, such as gestures and facial expressions, are learned and not innate.

It seems that even people who have been blind since birth still raise their arms in a great "WOHOO!" of victory and slump their shoulders with disappointment. Frankly, I don't think this entirely precludes the idea that they're learned, but it does open up the question pretty well.


Gene therapy experiments improve vision in nearly blind

sea-maid submitted, created time 7 years 10 months (

Scientists for the first time have used gene therapy to dramatically improve sight in people with a rare form of blindness, a development experts called a major advance for the experimental technique. Four of the six patients regained some vision.


Experimental RNA drug may cause blindness

lavrock submitted, created time 7 years 11 months (

Caution needed in clinical trials, scientists urge.


Removal of "superfluous" retina creates (time) blind mice...

Darkfrog submitted, created time 8 years 1 month (

Removing a certain type of retinal cell from lab mice doesn't make them go blind, but it does shake up their body clocks; they quickly slip into a 23.5 hour cycle--the same as unaltered mice in total darkness. They also lost their ability to regulate pupil size, but not their other visual abilities, such as judging how far to jump to make it across a gap. This suggests that these melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) concern the detection of light, not the processing of visual information.

What I'm curious about now is whether blind humans do or do not have this problem


Algal protein causes blind mice to react to light

Darkfrog submitted, created time 8 years 3 months (

Blind mice have been made to react to light in the lab. Scientists have used a protein found in algae to make little systems that react to light. When properly attached, these proteins can switch neurons on and off almost like natural photoreceptors do. It's not too clear how well the mice can actually see, but they can now tell the difference between "lights on" and "lights off." The scientists suppose, too, that the mice can only see in black and white


Triumphs and tribulations for RNA interference

jane2007 submitted, created time 8 years 4 months (

Two studies highlight promise and problems for gene silencing technique. Researchers could offer a new way by microRNA interference to treat conditions from cancer to cardiovascular disease. But another study shows that the effects of RNAi on genes involved in a severe form of blindness called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this case RNAi-causing drugs have already gone into trials. It isn't that the drugs don't work; it's that they work no matter what siRNA sequence is used. This brings the current understanding of the mechanism of RNA interference into question.


A gene related to one of the leading causes of blindness has been found

DanyC submitted, created time 8 years 4 months (

New research reveals that a gene called Robo4 could help curb or prevent two leading causes of blindness: age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. The Robo4 gene not only stopped the uncontrolled growth of the weak and leaky eye vessels, it also reversed the vessel damage. Dr. Li said clinical trials on human would probably take place within the next 5 year.

AMD:the American Academy of Ophthalmology

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