Stem Cell Cure for Blindness in Sight

Fix for macular degeneration could be available in 5 years
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 6, 2007 6:45 AM CDT
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(Newser) – A pioneering stem cell technique developed by British scientists and backed by an anonymous American benefactor could soon cure blindness in millions of people suffering from macular degeneration, the Daily Mail reports. The procedure involves injecting lab-grown embryonic stem cells into the back of an affected eye to repair the damaged area.

The technique, which could be available in five years, tackles the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. It has been used successfully in rats and in some human patients, although the process is being streamlined into what researchers say will be a 45-minute operation.  A US benefactor has poured nearly $8 million into the British project.