On the Horizon: Cure for the Colorblind
Meanwhile, apps, lenses seek to help those with the condition
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 6, 2012 12:42 PM CST
Scientists are seeking to make life easier for people with colorblindness.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Colorblindness can take a toll on everything from career choice to reading traffic lights—but for those who suffer from the condition, things are improving, and scientists may even be moving closer to a cure. Many people don't even realize they are colorblind, but an upcoming genetic test will offer detailed analysis of the condition. And already, apps like DanKam offer colorblind people a helping hand: They can peer through a phone's camera to have colors around them heightened and clarified. "It is like having magic eyes," a user tells the Wall Street Journal.

Also available: tinted contact lenses and glasses that, according to their makers, brighten colors that some people struggle to identify. Some video games also now offer colorblind modes that substitute shapes for colors. And various financial companies are supplementing their trading tools with symbols to make things easier. Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Washington are working on a cure: In 2009, they were able to use gene therapies to fix red-green colorblindness in squirrel monkeys. Questions remain over the safety of the procedure, however.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Nov 7, 2012 6:32 PM CST
Lots of misinformation. More than 8 percent of everybody has a form of mutated color vision, and there are many different kinds of it, most of them quite benign. That's usually an indication of a mutation in humans that confers some trade-off benefit. Ask a normally color-visioned person to tell the difference between a wisp of smoke and a wisp of fog, spot camouflage, or see around at night by starlight alone.
Nov 7, 2012 8:19 AM CST
Colorblindness "takes a toll"... What toll? I'm both red and green colorblind and am not the least affected by it. Sure, being an interior decorator or artist would not be a good career choice, but it has little to no impact on day-to-day functioning. I downloaded the DanKam app mentioned and it was a waste of $2.99. Certainly not a "cure".
Nov 6, 2012 4:38 PM CST
Have it on both sides of the family. My father and brother and even my sister is color-blind, and my daughter and I are carriers. This will be great for us. She wanted to go into interior design, but could not.