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Researchers Discover Another Layer To the Cornea 74

puddingebola writes with this excerpt: "A previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye, has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham. This new layer, called the Dua's Layer after Professor Harminder Dua who discovered it, could help surgeons to dramatically improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants. This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written. Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients," said Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences."
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Researchers Discover Another Layer To the Cornea

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  • by CodeReign (2426810) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:27AM (#43995435)

    Publishers rejoice as student are once again forced to purchase new books.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh please. Factual errors have never stopped a textbook from being used in class before.

    • They do that on a regular basis anyways.
    • by houbou (1097327)
      well, thank god for the age of e-books! :)
      • by gtirloni (1531285)
        The trees are certainly happy about e-books. The students' pockets on the other hand... don't seem to be much affect since the industry wants to charge dead tree books' prices for e-books.
        • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @12:17PM (#43997929)
          When asked one unnamed major local publishing house about the translator rates, they told me that most of the costs go into printing and paper so they can't pay me much more than that. The same publishing house responded to public questions regarding cheaper e-books with telling the public that most of the costs are actually due to the editors, and chiefly due to the translator, so they can't sell the e-books at a significantly lower price because I'm too expensive. You're obviously a smart goy, do the math.
          • That was supposed to be "smart guy". (I guess some typos are just embarrassin, but statistically, I guess I still have a 99.8 percent chance of being right with this only mildly stronger claim!)
            • by Anonymous Coward

              Actually, it's spelled "Schmott guy."


    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Publishers rejoice as student are once again forced to purchase new books.

      Not just students, but every optometrist and ophthalmologist around as well.

      Basically it completely rewrites the textbook, so practically everything prior is now hopelessly obsolete.

      Including training courses and everything.

    • Publishers rejoice as student are once again forced to purchase new books.

      Of course.

      This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written

      If they had to be rewritten only metaphorically, they'd probably would be rejoicing much less.

      • Students already would have been purchasing new books, so publishers are probably ambivalent on this development.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:27AM (#43995447)

    How did this get missed for so long?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would have called it the "cornucopia"!

  • And... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bfmorgan (839462) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:34AM (#43995551)
    "I see", said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.
  • by houbou (1097327) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:39AM (#43995603) Journal
    so, this is all new.. which is great, but, then again, what about the procedures they have been doing for the last little while, say like Lazik for example? Wouldn't this little bit of knowledge be important prior to sending to the surgery? Is this going to affect those procedures?
    • by barista (587936)
      It might be useful in developing new procedures or improving current ones, but it will take time. The new information isn't going to change anything drastically in the short term.
    • The "new" layer is between the stroma and Descemet's membrane (behind the stroma). Since LASIK and most other refractive procedures modify and reshape the stroma, they wouldn't even touch this layer. Corneal transplants, though, would be affected. A full-thickness transplant can take up to a year to recover from, since, among other reasons, there are no blood vessels in the cornea to aid healing. Partial-thickness transplants still take something like six weeks. Here's hoping this new knowledge can hel
  • ..of the cornea-est stories on Slashdot.

    I'll get my coat...

    • by telchine (719345)

      This is one of the cornea-est stories on Slashdot.

      I'll get my coat...

      eye was waiting for someone to post a bad pun about this!

  • The eyes have it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:00AM (#43995931)

    For those who don't bother to read TFA: Dua's layer is what keeps your eyeballs intact despite your eye being pressurized to a greater extent than the surrounding atmosphere. It can take up to two bars of pressure. The discovery helped doctors figure out what was behind the cause of several structural-weakness related illnesses of the eye and may lead to new treatment options for glaucoma sufferers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is very good news (besides providing grist for asinine comments). Anything that can help treat these 'orphan diseases' will be welcomed. My wife is 8 months into a cornea transplant after 30 years of living with severe keratoconus and for the last few years wearing 4 contact lenses (!). She had to have the procedure because her eyes couldn't deal with the contacts anymore and hard lenses are the main treatment for the disease. So far so good, but she's had some issues with living with 16 stitches in h

  • They're just like onions. Layers, layers, layers.
  • Since I've never been to med school, and flunked out of biology because I couldn't stomach the dissections ... is this a really hard to find layer or something?

    I should think with all of the eyes which have been dissected by now, I can only assume this is a very hard to find structure if they're just finding it now. That or it looks like its part of another layer.

    Though, it just goes to remind us that modern science still doesn't know everything.

    • by reverseengineer (580922) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:55AM (#43996803)

      From the experiments that were done to find this new layer, it seems that it is very difficult to separate from the adjoining layer (Descemet's membrane). Getting Dua's layer to separate from Descemet's membrane was a serendipitous result of simulating eye surgery (a lamellar keratoplasty, which is a partial corneal graft) involving the "big bubble technique," which uses an injection of air to separate Descemet's membrane from the corneal stroma. It turned out that it was sometimes possible to create this air bubble in specimens where Descemet's membrane had been removed, meaning there had to be another layer for air to get into. Otherwise, it wouldn't be easily detected as a separate layer.

      Here's what the "big bubble technique" looks like []. It's pictures of eye surgery, so don't say you weren't properly warned.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Thanks ... give or take a few points, that makes sense. But I think I'll pass on the pictures. ;-)

    • Well, the cornea is very, very transparent. And all the layers are held together quite well, so finding a distinct layer likely is quite difficult.
  • We don't need more organs with names that imply nothing about their function. Stop boosting the egos of these scientists, their goal should not be self-immortalization but advancement for the good of the scientific community.

    I thought we were transitioning away from those obscure, hard-to-remember names; such as the Eustachian tube in the ear getting renamed to simply auditory tube.
    • by sjames (1099)

      It makes perfect sense to use a person's name at first. Considering it's just been discovered, the jury is still out on what it does (if anything) it's a bit hard to name it based on function.

      If you think using names would be confusing, imagine a functional name 10 years later when we decide it doesn't do that at all.

    • by egnx (1767774)
      Meh. Prof Dua and Dr Mengeler have given my wife the ability to see for the past 15years, if he gets a layer named after him then thats just fine by me. Thanks Prof. on behalf of all your patients.
  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:28AM (#43997287)

    ... the second eyelid that blinks sideways.

  • As someone who is losing vision due to a degenerative corneal condition, this is good news. Maybe soon they can pop them out, give them a tuneup, and put them back in.

  • the Vulcans. Like the inner eyelid Spock realizes he has in TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!" Meant to protect us in the days we had 2 suns before one went nova. I made that last part up.
  • It's transparent turtles all the way down

  • I assume the NonEgotistical Layer name was taken.

    I wonder how many cool nicknames he's also given himself.

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.