from the urls-we-dig-up dept
An estimated 285 million people (worldwide) have some blindness or visual impairment. About 43% of those visually impaired around the world are people who need glasses but don’t have them. However, there are obviously blind people who have more severe vision problems that are more technologically difficult to fix. Some kids with blindness are learning how to echolocate nowadays, but that’s a skill that gets harder to learn as a person ages. Here are just a few other ways that might restore vision to people someday.
- A chemical injection into mouse eyes has been shown to make “blind” cells in the retina sensitive to light again. The effects of acrylamide-azobenzene-quaternary ammonium (AAQ) eventually wears off, but it is far less invasive than retinal implants or other procedures. [url]
- Retinal prostheses are being developed, too. However, implants require an invasive surgical procedure, and so far the resolution isn’t quite comparable to a Geordi La Forge visor. [url]
- Eye injuries are a serious problem for the military, so doctors are coming up with plausible ways to perform entire eye transplants. The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has some funding to work on eye transplants and how to regrow cells to mend severed optic nerves. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.