New York researchers restore vision to blind mice

Blind woman walking with a stick illustration 
By: David Ross 

If you fear becoming blind when you get older, you can now breathe easier.
A cure for blindness is brewing in a laboratory at Cornell University in New York.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, said they have managed to decode brain signals that allow mice to see, and using this information with a new type of retinal prosthesis they were able to restore vision in blind mice.

The next step, researchers said they've cracked the code of the monkey retina, which is almost identical to that of a human being, and if the prosthesis works on them, the researchers believe it could soon help people, who have lost their sight.

"It's an exciting time," said Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, a computational neuroscientist in the department of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell, said in a press release. "We can now restore blind eyes in mice to see again, and we are moving as fast as we can to do the same in humans," the doctor also said.

Their findings were published in the August 13 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.



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