Eyes of the Dead Could Help Living See
Cell transplants restore brain, eye connection
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2014 2:27 AM CST
Updated Feb 3, 2014 3:00 AM CST
Donated corneas are already used to help improve sight.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A new technique could dramatically improve the ways in which the eyes of the dead can help restore sight to the blind, according to research published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Researchers extracted a type of adult stem cell from the back of donated eyes and found that they could restore up to 50% of vision in blind rats by restoring electrical signals between the eye and the brain. Clinical trials of the technique, which could help with a wide variety of sight problems, are expected to begin within three years.

People who receive the donated cells "probably wouldn't be able to read, but they could move around and detect a table in a room," one of the researchers tells the BBC. "They would be able to identify a kettle and cup to make a cup of tea. Their quality of life would be so much better, even if they could not read or watch TV."

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Feb 4, 2014 10:52 AM CST
"Their quality of life would be so much better because they could not read or watch TV." FTFY
Feb 3, 2014 7:43 AM CST
I am a registered donor. Do what you want with my stuff when I'm gone. If my leftovers could help someone see, great.
Feb 3, 2014 7:24 AM CST
Reminds me of the 1978 film called The Eyes of Laura Mars of a woman who can see through the eyes of a serial killer. No matter what fantasy someone thinks up science will eventually catch up an create it. Hopefully this will help the blind completely see in the future.