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Biotech Medicine Science

Stem Cells Restore Sight For Corneal Disease Patients 223

Posted by timothy
from the soon-it'll-be-saline-&-stem-cell-solution dept.
Sean0michael writes "Australian scientists have restored the sight of three human test subjects using stem cells cultured in contact lenses. All the patients were blind in only one eye. Two were legally blind, but can now read the big letters on an eye chart. The third could read the first few lines, but is now able to pass a driver's test. The University of New South Wales reports that these patients all had damaged corneas, and the stem cells came from each person's good eye. The best part: the procedure is inexpensive, raising hopes for being able to push this to the third world sooner than other, more expensive medications."
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Stem Cells Restore Sight For Corneal Disease Patients

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  • !embroyonic (Score:5, Informative)

    by bensafrickingenius (828123) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:31PM (#28215293)
  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:5, Informative)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:43PM (#28215423)

    Embryonic stem cells don't come from aborted fetuses. They come from in vitro fertilization. ESC are harvested 5 days after fertilization, abortions aren't performed 5 days after fertilization because you wouldn't know.

  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:4, Informative)

    by harryandthehenderson (1559721) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:48PM (#28215463)

    In fact, I am not sure that there has been even one single break through that wasn't from adult stem cells.

    That's due to your own ignorance not any actual facts. I found one example just in 2 seconds of googling. This FDA approved study [cnn.com] was based on a previous trial that was able to successfully restore locomotion to those with spinal cord injuries. It is not even the only example just the first one that I found.

  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:5, Informative)

    by harryandthehenderson (1559721) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:50PM (#28215487)
    Aborted fetuses aren't used as a source of stem cells since all the cells would be dead. The embryonic stem cells are harvested from leftover frozen embryos from people doing invitro-fertilization that would normally just be thrown out.
  • by harryandthehenderson (1559721) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:53PM (#28215531)

    The article doesn't go into very much detail on what the stem cells really were or how the were produced,

    They weren't produced. They were somatic stem cells that were in the patients good eyes.

    so I assume what they refer to as "stem cells" are really multipotent stem cells (or so-called progenitor cells [wikipedia.org])

    No, you would be wrong. As the summary and the article state these are adult stem cells [wikipedia.org] or somatic stem cells as they are also called.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @05:56PM (#28215585) Homepage
    Wearing glasses as a fashion statement isn't new at all. It occurred at least as early as the early Renaissance when glasses were considered a sign of wealth (because you could afford them) and education (because you presumably needed them to read).
  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:06PM (#28215699)
    Ah, dude, he said breakthroughs, not research. I also did a google search and didn't find much that was successful, though there are hundreds of breakthroughs using adult stem cells.
  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:13PM (#28216377) Homepage
    I don't know if you forgot but there ARE other countries in the world besides the United States of America. Your explanation makes no sense.
  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:3, Informative)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:28PM (#28216543)

    Now you've done it.

    People had the image of evil scientists watching abortions being performed through a hole in the wall, rubbing their hands together and twirling their mustaches in sadistic anticipation of fresh, fetal stem cells. It worked out well. They had a target (that didn't exist) they could all agree to hate.

    Now those people will have to imagine evil test tubes and deal with the fact that many of them have used such services.

    It's only a matter of time before we hear them cry out that they were raped by these doctors who harvested their children for profit and the evils of science, without having any reason to believe that it actually happened to them.

  • Re:!embroyonic (Score:4, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:07PM (#28216935) Homepage Journal

    "some people feel are highly unethical actions to get more,"
    yeah, well I am tired of 'some people' telling me nonsense becasue of there 'beliefs'. Ignoring the fact that they are the scraps of In Vitro and not specifically harvest for research.

    "...used and duplicated forever."

    No, they can't. Tehre are serious problems with the techniques which make them not as usable and in many cases worthless for research.

    Who the fuck started spreading that lie?

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