Research Provides Hope For Degenerative Eye Diseases

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(credit:  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There is fascinating research at Johns Hopkins that could someday lead to treatment for degenerative eye diseases.

Basically, what the scientists are working on is a 3-dimensional retina that is being kept in a petri dish. This 3-d retina has the ability to sense light.

Here is what the scientists did to develop the retina: They took human stem cells and incorporated them into retinal tissue – the type of tissue that, when fully developed, allows the brain to interpret the images seen by the lens of the eye.

Essentially they generated a retina which mimicked the steps that would be seen in live humans.

There is an important point to remember. This research is very early and a long way from being used in humans.

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