Al writes "A miniature telescope that fits inside the eye of someone with macular degeneration and helps them regain normal vision has been developed by a start-up company called VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies. Macular degeneration affects the center of the retina, making it difficult to read, watch television and recognize faces. The new device, which is about the size of a pencil eraser, works like a fixed telephoto lens within the eye, projecting a magnified image of whatever the wearer is looking at onto a large part of the peripheral retina. Magnifying the image on the eye allows the retinal cells outside the macula to participate, and enables a patient to recognize details using their peripheral vision. Clinical trials suggest that the device could improve vision by about three and a half lines on an eye chart. Last week, an advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended that the agency approve the implant."