Age-related macular degeneration (AMDR) is a terrifying eye disease.
The centre of your vision disintegrates. Reading is impossible. The faces of people you love become unrecognizable.
And for the ailment’s most common form – fully 70 per cent of all cases – there is absolutely no cure.
But, in a lab in Montreal, there may be the beginnings of some hope.
Dr. Gilbert Bernier, associate professor of neurosciences at University of Montreal, is leading a team at Maissonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, turning human stem cells into the cone-shaped photoreceptor cells that make vision possible.
“We have developed a very efficient method which allows us to obtain 80 per cent of the human embryonic stem cells differentiating to human cones with the receptors.” Bernier said in an interview with Yahoo Canada.
“This is unprecedented.”
Stem cells are invaluable for this kind of research, because they have the ability to transform into any of the vast variety of components that make up the human body.
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