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Biotech Science

Need A New Retina? Look No Further 310

Posted by simoniker
from the g'kar-deluxe-model dept.
wap writes "Restoring sight to the blind is a Bibical miracle, a sign of divine powers. Now it is being tested at the Boston Retinal Implant Project, with some very limited success, according to Technology Review. They only have fifteen electrodes implanted, but it's a start. Great quotes: 'The eye doesn't like stuff inside it, that's why it doesn't have a zipper.' Will artificial eyes and retinal replacements someday be as good as good human eyes?"
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Need A New Retina? Look No Further

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  • As good??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vo0k (760020) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:44AM (#10010741) Journal
    Heh, they will be 100 times better.
    Extended spectrum, nightvision, antiblinder, zoom, the possiblities are unlimited!
    • by catwh0re (540371) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:46AM (#10010754)
      I'm imaginging bad webcam quality eyes. Then people quoting back and forth, "oh you got crap logitech eyes, you should have bought iSight eyes"....

      5 months later it'll be deemed that our eye sight can be tapped under the PATRIOT act and similar.

      • The problem is if someone patents the software that drives they eyes. It might make it difficult to run linux on your eyeballs for example.

        Nick
      • Re:As good??? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cs02rm0 (654673) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:00AM (#10010823)
        Aren't people using retinas for developing biometric identification? I wonder what the consequences of this would be ...DoS a system with a bunch of people with the same retinal scans?

        I know with the iris they can measure the amount it constantly expands and contracts by to verify it's not a contact lens or similar. I presume though when they reach the stage of replacing the whole eye they'd be able to even fake that.
      • Re:As good??? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dmayle (200765) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:24AM (#10010917) Homepage Journal

        5 months later it'll be deemed that our eye sight can be tapped under the PATRIOT act and similar.

        printf("%s",szDeity) that should have been modded insightful. It actually makes me think of Minority Report, and how it's illegal not to have your own eyeballs. This sort of stuff will happen if we let it...

      • I believe that the top-quality ones are Zeiss-Ikon.
        /cyberpunk nerd
      • Of course I won't... I need a new retina!!
    • by caitsith01 (606117) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:52AM (#10010780) Journal
      999X DIGITAL ZOOM! Actually creates data out of nothing WHILE YOU ARE ZOOMING! Who needs those fancy optics and lenses and whotnot?! DIGITAL is part of the WORLD OF TOMORROW!

      Seriously, though, without an extra lens how could it be anything but 'digital zoom' (i.e. 'magnification')?

      On the other hand, most people nowadays appear to be dumb enough to buy anything so long as it is digital or contains the prefix i- or e-, so maybe we can just market these as "eYes : now with DIGITAL zoom."
      • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:01AM (#10010827)
        There seems to be a segment of the marketplace that loves the word "digital" thinking it must mean "better technology" which is true most of the time, but there are some things that are just meant to be done in analog sound amplification and image magnification being two of the biggest examples.
      • by dmayle (200765)

        without an extra lens how could it be anything but 'digital zoom'

        Easy, a higher resolution sensor. I'f you're looking at 1280x960 picture at 640x480 (50%), and you suddenly DIGITAL ZOOM to 1280x960, you didn't need a lense, and you weren't manufacturing new information. No one is saying that this will be ready next year, but in 50 year's time, it will definitely be possible.

        • But would the brain be able to make sense of the images you create that way? Part of the nerve bundle would go dark as you zoom in, would the brain be able to fill in the blanks?
        • So in other words you would cripple the device in its basic mode, then 'enhance' the image by un-crippling it to make full use of its resolution?

          Not really a zoom in my book.

          By the way, don't tell digital camera companies or they'll start with a default image size of 30x40 pixels and a 100x 'optical sensor' zoom.
        • This would also be necessary for image stabilzation.
      • by waynemcdougall (631415) <slashdot@codeworks.gen.nz> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:05AM (#10010844) Homepage
        Lister: Any problems?
        Kryten: Well, just one or two. In fact I've compiled a little list if you'll indulge me. Now then, uh, my optical system doesn't appear to have a zoom function.
        Lister: No, human eyes don't have a zoom.
        Kryten: Well then, how do you bring a small object into sharp focus?
        Lister: Well, you just move your head closer to the object.
        Kryten: I see. Move your head ... closer, hmm, to the object. All right, okay. Well, what about other optical effects, like split screen, slow motion, Quantel(tm)?
        Lister: No. We don't have them.
        Kryten: You don't have them -- just the zoom? Hmm. Well, no, that's fine, that's great, no, no, that's really great, that's great.
        • I love Red Dwarf, and I love how it is not understodd by non-brits (or at least, doesn't seem to have been heard of, probably becuse of licensing or suchlike)

          That and changing the alert colour bulbs will forever tickle me... :-)

          *stiffle smirk*
      • as a remainder - we had eye transplant [slashdot.org], which was not exactly eye, but the cornea was transplanted.

        nonetheless whole discussion there is actually interesting, and the subject is related.
      • Simply. High density CCD (say, 100 gigapixel?). Or variable density CCD. In zoom 1x you use only 1 in 100 of CCD sensors (the rest still can be used as redundant backup). With 100x zoom you use all of them but only from 1/100 the original area.
      • "Seriously, though, without an extra lens how could it be anything but 'digital zoom' (i.e. 'magnification')?"

        Magnification is just the divergence of light so that it covers a larger surface area. Technology may at some point in the near future provide a way to bend/diverge light without lenses.
      • What's all this digital talk? They making fake fingers in addition to retinas?
    • Re:As good??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes.xmsnet@nl> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:54AM (#10010793)
      For some values of 'better'. Sure, you can add cool features to the eye, but it'll be a while before you can improve on the original function of the eye: CCD technology has a long way to go before it even comes close to the picture quality (resolution, dynamic range, absence of noise and artefacts) of the human eye.
      • Re:As good??? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:51AM (#10011028) Homepage Journal
        Actually, the raw data you get from a CCD is better than the raw data you would get from the back of the human retina. The retinal is covered with blood vessels, has a big hole in it (the blind spot), had a great deal of noise (phosphene activity).

        However, the nerves just after the retina, plus the optic nerve, plus the visual cortex, do a HELL of a lot of signal processing - removing the fixed imperfections like the blind spot and the blood vessels, using the dithering created by the small jittering of the eye to increase spatial resolution, averaging out the random phosphene activity.

        IF you could get the same spatial resolution coupled into the retina, you could improve vision. However, that is a BIG IF - getting the millions of electrodes into the eye and coupled to the nerve cells, giving the correct voltage levels and firing patterns, without destroying the nerves by releasing metal ions or overvoltaging them, without provoking an immune response - quite a task.

        Now, the question that I have is the plasticity of the brain - consider this: imagine the above difficulties are resolved. Now, instead of using a CCD array that approximates human normal vision by using RGB, what if you made an imaging element that generated RYGCBM - instead of three response curves you use six to increase the color-space resolution. Now, normally our brains learn to parse the basically RGBY data from the eye (the rods just return luminance data). Suddenly, the brain is getting a different set of signals. Is the adult brain plastic enough to learn to process this data at all? What about a child's brain?
        • by Eric604 (798298)
          Is the adult brain plastic enough to learn to process this data at all? What about a child's brain?

          Yes! That's a briliant idea! When the adult brain is not plastic enough, why not use children brains as a coprocessor? The only problem is where to leave it.. Perhaps artificially expand the skull to hold an extra smaller brain?

        • Re:As good??? (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          No need. Remember that color perception is not done as absolutes, since different lighting conditions would wildly change the perceived color. Rather, it's done as a matter of differences between the object and its surroundings: it's an edge detection effect, and this is documented in all sorts of visual illusions and neurological studies since the 1960's when Jerry Lettvin at MIT started putting electrodes on single neurons.

          Adding another 3 colors would expand the edge handling required from 3 colors, and
        • Re:As good??? (Score:2, Informative)

          by Lonewolf666 (259450)
          Actually, the raw data you get from a CCD is better than the raw data you would get from the back of the human retina. The retinal is covered with blood vessels, has a big hole in it (the blind spot), had a great deal of noise (phosphene activity).

          On the other hand, the human eye has pretty good resolution in the point of best vision, something like an arc minute. At the same time, it offers motion detection over a rather large arc. This allows you to notice something happening at the edge of your field o
      • a lot of that depends heavily on how much of the quality of human vision is actually in the eye, and not in the extensive post-processing done in the brain, and how well the brain adapts to off-brand peripherals.
    • NTG's Geordi La Forge - Extended vision with his glasses on, blind after you remove his visor.
  • Human Augmentation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Devar (312672) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:44AM (#10010743) Homepage Journal
    I'd love to keep one eye, probably my 'good' eye, after testing to see which is the best, and modify the other to give retinal overlay data. You could look at an object and it would draw an overlay and data on it. Also, the ability to turn this overlay on or off! How about zoom, or freeze frame capabilites all without having your eyes look any different than they would naturally.
    I know it's a long way off, but that kind of visual enhancement would be awesome. And expensive. And I want it. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:44AM (#10010744)
    Ah Chew, if you could only see what I've seen with your eyes
  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by caitsith01 (606117) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:46AM (#10010756) Journal
    Some info about the various types of bionic eyes currently being built can be found on Wired. [wired.com]

    Brain implant [dobelle.com] anyone?
  • by leeroybrown (624767) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:46AM (#10010758)

    15 electrodes implanted in someone's boday and not a sign of Kevin Warwick. Perhaps we'll get some actual research with scientific basis for a change.

  • by CountBrass (590228) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:49AM (#10010765)

    But I simply cannot imagine having any of this kind of enhancement: ever. I might consider it if say it was to restore something I'd lost completely (like my sight) but as an enhancement? No I don't think so. But then perhaps I'm a luddite: I haven't seriously considered laser eye surgery, partly because it's risky (however small) but mostly because my current eyeballs + glasses work just fine.

    And as a humorous aside: how long do you think it would be before scumware companies worked out how to spam you new implants? "I ploughed into that part of school children because I was distracted by the advert for cheap viagra my retinaly implants I had just received".

    • Exactly. I'd be a lot more comfortable with those 'enhancements' safely tucked away in my glasses than in my eyeballs.
      Then again, seeing the number of people willing to poke holes in themselves and stick metal objects through them purely for 'decoration', I fear I'm in the minority on this one.
    • by nwbvt (768631) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:51AM (#10011029)
      " I might consider it if say it was to restore something I'd lost completely (like my sight)"

      Well thats sort of what they are for.
      Thats like me saying I cannot imagine using crutches, ever, though I might consider them if I had broken my leg.

      Leave it to /. to make research restoring sight to the blind an issue primarily about turning human beings into a race of cyborgs.

    • I quake in my pants thinking of "intelligent houses" already... I find the whole idea of having my house connected to the internet fucking scary, so no way in hell I'd ever consider getting my eyes online. Just consider what will happen if you get hacked!
    • my current eyeballs + glasses work just fine.

      You're already enhancing yourself then! Seriously though, I think in 200 years when people are born, you will automatically get enhanced vision, extra memory/processors, maybe a super strong titanium exo-skeleton. Living without these things 200 years from now would be like trying to live now without electricity.
      • Actually you know: I doubt that will be true.

        I think what will work against it is the same repulsion people feel for the disabled, the deformed and the just plain different. (All of which are there to ensure you mate with a partner whose likely to give you strong, healthy and succesful offspring.)

        I think the same will apply to implants and a mere 200 years won't be enough to overturn a several million years of evolution: we've evolved to be turned off by freaks.

        • You must be joking: people turned off by implants? Several thousand rich plastic surgeons (and rich strip club owners) would disagree.
          So it matters a lot just what implant and why.
          FWIW, I'm one of many who finds a stylish pair of eyeglasses can greatly enhance the sexual attractiveness of the wearer. Not strictly an implant, but there you go.
  • by mrjb (547783) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:50AM (#10010772)
    "I can't see a thing without my glasses!"
  • by KageMonkey (740043) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:51AM (#10010776)
    Will artificial eyes and retinal replacements someday be as good as good human eyes?

    Reminds me of the scene where Tom Cruise went to get his eyes replaced in the Minority Report. Nevertheless, the question that "will be as good as someday?" is somewhat pointless, because we all know that as technology advances, will ALWAYS be as good as in the future. Unless we blow ourselves up, I am certain that we will have eye implants that gives humans super-vision, as well as being able to see-through walls, amongst other goodies. The better quesion is, how long will it take for technology to get there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:52AM (#10010782)
    Really, I don't. =)
  • by HBI (604924) <kparadine@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:56AM (#10010803) Homepage Journal
    Being able to look at ugly chicks as if they were beautiful would be a gift beyond price.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:57AM (#10010809)

    could be cured for the cost of 1 Nuclear submarine, but as we are not serious about curing blindness we would rather have multiple subs and lots of blind people

    http://www.mercyships.org [mercyships.org]

    • could be cured for the cost of 1 Nuclear submarine, but as we are not serious about curing blindness we would rather have multiple subs and lots of blind people

      Similarly, we could cure hunger and disease for the price of 3 nuclear subs. But next year we'd have to pay even more because all our free food aid has bankrupted the few remaining farmers in Africa (this does actually happen by the way). Then after a few years, when we say 'enough is enough' and ask them to grow their own damn food for a change,

    • by pavon (30274) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @11:49AM (#10013317)
      Ironic that you should link to a charity in a post which infers that government spending is the solution to our problems, because everytime I hear someone saying that we could improve the world if only everyone in the country gave so much more in taxes, I wonder "Then why aren't you"? If progressives were to give just a small portion of thier income to charity they could achieve all the things that they want the government to do.

      And don't tell me you don't have the money. Growing up in a family of seven, living off of less than $70k in the 90's, my parents always gave at least 10% to charity. We weren't poor but I'm sure most slashdotters are much better off than we were. From the very first allowence I recieved, I have given at least 10% of my income to charity. When I was only getting $10/month as a high schooler in 1997, when I was living off ramen in college, I still gave. Because my parents taught me that no matter how bad off you are, there is someone who needs the money more than you. A church here has managed to put on a huge outreach event once a year, in addition to their normal day to day support. This is only a medium size church, and it is one of the less wealth churches in the city, and yet it manages to achieve things that the huge mega churches wouldn't dream of doing.

      I am not saying any of this to brag, but to point out that you can make a difference, even if you aren't rich. So to all progressive that want to improve people's lives, before you impose your morals on the entire country, before you create another inept government beurocracy - ask yourself what you are doing to improve the world yourself. I know some of you are already, but I know just as many who are not. Worse, some are even being a drain on society - of thier own choice, not because of the evils of society, as much as they would like to think otherwise. There are some things that are systematic problems and need a change of policy to improve the dynamics of our economic system. But social programs are do not fall into this catagory, and if you are not giving money to these programs yourself already, then you have no right to force your fellow countrymen to do so instead.
  • "We can rebuild him...we have the technology..."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @06:59AM (#10010815)
    The problem with having a camera for an eye is that if they got good, they most certainly would cause enromous legal issues. You could conceivably record your own sight, which would run afoul of various copyright, privacy, and wire-tap laws in the US and abroad. More so if you broadcast them, or if security/access control was in place.
  • Restoring sight to the blind is a Bibical miracle, a sign of divine powers.

    Well, as The Doctor said: "Divine intervention is ... unlikely". :-)

    z
  • About time too! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by manavendra (688020) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:08AM (#10010852) Homepage Journal
    This is very good news! My brother had been hurt in an accident has a child and has limited vision in one eye. The retina of his eye was damaged and several thousand dollars and hundreds of trips to clinics and hospitals later, we have been where we started!

    This is early days yet, I know, but it offers some hope.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I want chainsaw hands!
  • Like it or not we will become BORGS when the majority of limbs and interfaces will be better than our given by nature ones.

    And the Law of Accelerating will make shure it comes sooner than we all aticipate it.

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0134.html? pr intable=1
  • This is great news for me, I recently had an eye scan which showed the first signs of retinal damage after years of being diabetic... They reckon I have about ten years lefy so these guys need to get it up to at least JPEG resolution by then so I can still jack into my laptop and get my pr0n.. ;)
    • Will this help diabetics? Does they remove the old retina when they put one of these in? If the meat retina bleeds (as it does in diabetics with retinopathy), and if the blood blocks the view (as it does in diabetics with retinopathy), what good is having a synthetic retina back there? You'd have to have a camera outboard somehwere wired up to the optic nerve, no?

      BTW, when your retinas are bleeding, it's because of blood vessel changes caused by the diabetes, and there's a very good chance that the sam

  • by Jeff Kelly (309129) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:35AM (#10010959)
    Just some clarification.

    These devices won't restore eyesight to people who were born blind. Only those who, at one time in their life, actually could see will profit from such technical replacements.

    When you are born you are nearly blind. It takes four to six years for the visual cortex to develop fully. After the age of six this development stops and thats the end of it.

    If you are born blind then the cortex will not be trained and no magic eye surgery will restore your vision, because after the age of six the visual cortex will no longer adapt to the new situation.

    Even if your eyes are restored to 20/20 vision you will not see a thing because your vision center doesn't know how to interpret the pictures. So these kinds of surgery will only help people which went blind and not those who were born blind. (Still cool stuff)

    BTW. It is the same with deafness.
    • but then why not take that to the next level, if this technology gets far enough along, lets say by 2020, then if a child is born blind and we have good ways of testing it, we could immediately implant the eyes and train the visual cortex from as early as possible so the child gains at least some sight(of course, I`m assuming you can`t do this surgery on a new born but probably can before the age of 6).

      Anyways, if they can do heart surgery on newborns, I think they could quickly learn to pull this off and
      • That's the exact thing that people are considering doing with cochlear implants. Doctor checks if the baby has a cochlear and no ear canal for instance, implants the baby and the baby learns to hear and talk. Of course, the baby will never be a "native" sign language speaker, but the baby will be able to avoid backing trucks.
    • by jstave (734089) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:29AM (#10011191)
      I read an article (I believe it was in Science News) indicating that blind-from-birth people actually used their visual cortex to process sounds. Basically we use it to build up our model of the world around us.

      I'm not saying it could be retrained to process visual information after a lifetime of other use, I just thought its cool how the brain can effectively rewire itself. Kinda like detaching the speakers from your computer and having the sound card automatically start processing graphics (or something)

      • by misterpies (632880) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @10:51AM (#10012484)
        There's actually an article [nature.com] (subscription) on this in this week's edition of Nature. It's about a guy who was blind from birth but - at the age of 52 - received a corneal graft that enabled him to see for the first time.

        The psychologists were dumbfounded to discover that he could read the time on clocks and even the titles of books straight away, without any learning. It turned out that he had a "blind" watch (a clock without a cover over the face, so he could tell the time from feeling the positions of the fingers), and at school he'd been taught to recognise capital letters by their shape. Somehow this shape information was transferred from touch into sight ("cross-modal transfer").

        However, when it came to objects that were out of his tactile knowledge, he was unable to respond to them properly - e.g. he had no way of estimating the distance of any object further away than the length of his arm, and pictures and photographs were just meaningless blobs of colour.
    • Actually, it depends on where the blindness occurs... there are several different "kinds" of blindness... problems with the visual cortex, problems with the optic nerve, and problems with the actual eye structure (though I'm sure there are many more)... it is entirely possible for someone to be born with a working visual cortex and optic nerve, but broken eyes that this would be able to help.
      BTW, Why is this just making news here, now? I saw a spot on CNN probably a year ago or more about a guy that was
      • that it will help people that are born blind in the future... as they could then use this new technology to train their visual cortex. As for people already born blind, I'm not sure that this will never allow them to see, just that they will probably not be able to get the same level of results as someone that once had sight.
  • Progress,,,? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by julesh (229690) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:40AM (#10010979)
    I'm sure I remember hearing about a similar experiment about 10 years ago. They'd connected a 5x5 array of electrodes to a patient's optical nerves, and he could see vaguely defined objects. So this is exactly how much progress...?
  • "Restoring sight to the blind is a Bibical miracle"

    Well, the really good Egyptian magicians were supposed to be able to reattach a severed head. Now THAT'S technology! Betcha they can't do that at Olympus.
  • useful but not great (Score:3, Informative)

    by cyberwitz (767170) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:15AM (#10011125)
    6 months ago I had cataract sugery and an interocular implant. The implant is fantastic, it took me from functionaly blind, in that eye, to pretty usable vision in the eye.

    There is absolutely no equal to the organic material of the eye, though. As good as the implant is, it's still like looking at a bad reprint of a picture.

    When it comes to the human body, third party products are decent if you can't get the real thing. But, they really aren't (and probably won't be) better.
    • Apparently it's possible to replace a damaged cornea with one of your own teeth - I remember seeing a TV show about a guy who did it - I can't find that story but here [timesofoman.com]'s another example.
    • But, they really aren't (and probably won't be) better.

      Gonna have to disagree with you on that parenthetical part. The body is truly the most amazing machine, and nothing we can make now really stacks up to what the body can do, but for the foreseeable future, the human body will essentially be unchanged. 100 years from now, 1000 years from now, if we don't modify the body ourselves, the human body will pretty much be exactly the same as it is now.

      So, basically a stationary target. While human SCIENCE

  • Does this mean that the gov.'s tempest project would be able to spy on what we're SEEING?

    Or is the power involved far too weak for that.
  • Eye of Newt (Score:3, Funny)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:21AM (#10011572)
    People have tinkered like this for a long time. My favorite, going back to 1997, is where they combined silicon and eye of newt. No kidding! http://www.devicelink.com/mddi/archive/99/07/003.h tml [devicelink.com]
  • What I want to know is, when can I get a DVI-female port wired into my eyes so I can play video games without using a monitor?
  • by tokenhillbilly (311564) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:35AM (#10011717)
    I mean what happens if your on the road and forget your charger? You wake up in the morning and all you see is a little battery low indicator. Since you got your eyes last year, non of the stores carry a charger for your obsolete eyes.
  • Need A New Retina? Look No Further
    I can't look cause I'm already blind you insensitive clod!
  • My mother needs this but she fond a different solution that only cost something like $500,000 for 2 operations on each eyeball. Thanks to her addction to Virginia slims, she can't see any more but thanks to so expiermental surgey that is only needed by tobacco druggies, she can see again. How many people can afford to have their eyeballs layers separated, encouraged to regrow and then put back together by a huge team of surgeons?
  • by defile (1059)

    Now lets fix amblyopia!

    Wikipedia: Amblyopia or lazy eye is a disorder of the eyes. It is characterised by poor or dim vision in an eye that is otherwise physically healthy and normal. The problem is normally due to a faulty connection between the eye and the brain, which did not develop correctly during early childhood. Amblyopia normally only affects one eye, but it is possible to be amblyopic in both eyes.
  • No more biometric retinal scans

    who's for going the whole hog and inventing replacable fingers, faces etc

    CJC
  • This [eurekalert.org] Eurekalert article discusses a new technique using chemical messengers to lead nerve growth toward a specific site. While originally intended for spinal regrowth after severe trauma, it (and the many other research projects online the same line) would appear relevant to this artificial vision project. They're trying to save the optical nerve so they can stimulate from the eye to the brain. If they could regrow nerve tissue care in surgical placement of the implant during eye surgery might be of less concern.

    Also, PBS has a series Innovation - Life, inspired where one of the episodes [pbs.org] discusses another artificial vision procedure consisting of a direct ocular brain implant currently in human trials. The program follows a patient who has the surgical procedure done and then her recuperation and initial testing of the implant. Most interesting. They also show another group who is trying a different kind of brain implant, but who haven't yet made it to human trials.

    Between nerve / brain cell regrowth and implant research ongoing we will likely see amazing cures for formerly untreatable injuries and illnesses within our lifetimes. It's pretty amazing to see the beginnings of Bionic Man type stuff actually happen in my lifetime. --M

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