Biologists have grown human retina tissue from scratch to learn how the cells that let us see in color are made. The work may lay the groundwork for therapies for eye diseases such as color blindness and macular degeneration. It also establishes lab-created organoids — artificially grown organ tissue — as a model to study human… Read more

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? Macbeth (Act II, scene 1), William Shakespeare As virtual reality headsets hit the market, they bring with them the echoes of Macbeth’s words: the world they immerse you in might look or even sound right, but can’t be touched or grasped. Seeing a dagger… Read more

The first successful gene therapy for an inherited form of blindness was recently reviewed by an expert panel of advisers at US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They unanimously voted in recommendation of the treatment. The FDA now has until January 12, 2018 to approve the treatment. Spark Therapeutics, an American biotech firm, developed the… Read more

Visual prostheses, or “bionic eyes”, promise to provide artificial vision to visually impaired people who could previously see. The devices consist of micro-electrodes surgically placed in or near one eye, along the optic nerve (which transmits impulses from the eye to the brain), or in the brain. The micro-electrodes stimulate the parts of the visual… Read more

A method for inserting a gene into specific cell types in the adult brain has been developed in an animal model by researchers at the University of Washington. Recent work shows that the approach can be used to alter the function of brain circuits and change behavior. Gregory Horwitz, associate professor of physiology and biophysics… Read more