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Embryonic stem cells help the blind to see

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

US scientists say they have helped improve vision in 2 legally blind women by injecting embryonic stem cells into their eyes.

Researchers from the University of California and scientists at Massachusetts-based private company Advanced Cell Technology reported their results in the British journal Lancet on Monday.

The team injected retinal cells derived from embryonic stem cells into one eye each of 2 female patients suffering from different kinds of macular degeneration.

2 weeks later, both women showed improvement, and 3 months later, they could read progressively smaller letters on an eye chart.

The embryonic stem cells used in the experimental treatment were created from fertilized eggs of a stranger, but the patients showed no immune system rejection or other side-effects.

The research team says this is the first confirmation that embryonic stem cells are effective for treating humans.

They plan to carry out more clinical trials on the practicality of regenerative medicine.

NHK.

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