New stem cell therapy could cure blindness

May 21, 2016 by  
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Upwards of 30 million people on the planet suffer from Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which causes pain and a black spot in the center of the patient’s vision that grows into eventual blindness. Recently, studies conducted at University College London reveal a possible cure for the first time in history. Professor Pete Coffey has been working to develop a treatment using a patient’s own stem cells for the past eight years , and the first patient to receive the treatment—just last August—is showing promising results. Coffey looked to stem cells to replace the layer of cells damaged by the progressive disease. AMD destroys the eye’s Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE), causing patients to experience a black spot in their vision which expands outward and leads to complete blindness . AMD sufferers also lose the ability to read and recognize familiar faces, altering their lives forever. The only existing treatments for AMD simply manage the discomfort associated with the disease, but there have been no breakthroughs for potential cures until now. Related: World’s first 3D-printed retinal cells could help cure blindness A 60-year-old woman with a severe form of AMD was Coffey’s first guinea pig. On August 11, 2015, surgeons at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London implanted stem cells that had been cultivated as RPE cells, hoping the new additions would step in and repair the degeneration. Six months after the procedure, Coffey was still hesitant to call the procedure  a win, despite improvements. “We are assessing her vision — we need more information to make conclusions,” said Coffey, who hopes patients can get their lives back. “Recovery is possible… there is a window when you can put the cells in and recover the patient’s vision. I would hope they can recognize their families again.” Via CNN Images via Sam Bald/Flickr and Wikipedia

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New stem cell therapy could cure blindness

16-year-old wins Marvel’s STEM challenge with seeing eye robot

May 20, 2016 by  
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Seeing eye dogs make great companions for the visually impaired, but what if there was one that didn’t need to be fed or cleaned up after? Sixteen-year-old Maia Dua created one: a seeing eye robot  that can do everything a dog can, without the expensive and lengthy training. Her invention beat out a thousand other entries to win Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War — Girls Performing the Future Challenge . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AryhbCZqgYs The California high school student was inspired to create a robotic aid for the visually impaired after she heard about the high cost of raising and training seeing eye dogs . Compared to the $50,000 expense of breeding and training seeing eye dogs, and then connecting them with visually impaired owners, Dua’s invention costs just $600. She built her robot in four days, a tiny fraction of the time it takes to train a companion animal . Related: Teen wins $100,000 for new water purification system to remove Everglades pollutants The wheeled robot has a long handle and looks a bit like those non-electric carpet sweepers used at movie theaters. The device is equipped with a series of sensors that detect nearing objects and beeps to alert the user. The seeing eye robot can’t replace a trained animal companion, as it lacks the ability to scope out a situation and make decisions (such as at a crosswalk). However, in simple surroundings, the robot can give a hardworking dog a much needed break. The design competition, open only to girls aged 15 to 18 enrolled in 10th to 12th grades, awarded each participant with a $500 savings account from sponsor Synchrony Bank. Dua, the grand prize winner, won an internship at Marvel Studios. Although the contest backers advertised the challenge as a means to empower girls in STEM fields, critics say Marvel (a Disney-owned company) would have had a greater impact by simply putting more female characters in their movies. Via Yahoo Images via Marvel Studios and KCRA

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16-year-old wins Marvel’s STEM challenge with seeing eye robot

World’s First 3D-Printed Retinal Cells Could Help Cure Blindness

December 18, 2013 by  
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In a breakthrough for the effort to cure blindness, researchers at the University of Cambridge  have used an inkjet printer to print living retinal cells for the first time. The cells could be built up and used to replace defective eye tissue. Professor Keith Martin from  Cambridge’s neuroscience department  is hopeful the development will bring them one step closer to treating retinal diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Read the rest of World’s First 3D-Printed Retinal Cells Could Help Cure Blindness Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d-printed adult nerve cells , 3d-printed cells used for neural repair , Cambridge neuroscience department , cure for blindness , professor Keith Martin , research journal Biofabrication , synthetic ocular membrane , world’s first 3d-printed retinal cells        

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World’s First 3D-Printed Retinal Cells Could Help Cure Blindness

Singapore’s Prefab Recycled Plastic Nevhouses Offer Cheap Housing and Divert Waste from Landfills

December 18, 2013 by  
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Singapore’s Nevhouse designs prefab home built out of recycled plastic waste . This low cost housing solution requiring minimal maintenance is water proof, fire and earthquake resistant and can be afforded by low income families that live in areas stricken by natural disasters, social and economic issues. Read the rest of Singapore’s Prefab Recycled Plastic Nevhouses Offer Cheap Housing and Divert Waste from Landfills Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: earthquake resistant homes , fire resistant homes , low maintenance homes , natural disasters , Nevhouse , plastic waste , Prefab Homes , Prefab Housing , Recycled Plastic , Singapore low-cost homes , Sustainable buildings , transportable homes        

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Singapore’s Prefab Recycled Plastic Nevhouses Offer Cheap Housing and Divert Waste from Landfills

Brand New Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992

December 18, 2013 by  
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This week, the biggest animal discovery of the 21st century was announced. Meet kabomani, the “little black tapir.” He’s a shy and elusive fellow, living below the radar in the grasslands and forests of Brazil and Colombia. He’s also the largest terrestrial mammal found since 1992, when the saola of Southeast Asia raised his bovine head. How does a quarter-ton animal slip past the prying eyes of science for so long? Easy- just ignore what local people have been trying to tell you! Read the rest of Brand New Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: biggest animal discovery of the 21st century , kabomani , karitiana , largest terrestrial animal discovery since 1992 , new pygmy tapir discovered , new tapir in brazil and colombia , perissodactyl , saola , tapir , Tapirus kabomani , Tapirus terrestrius , Theodore Roosevelt        

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Brand New Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992

The World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Hits US Market Next Month

November 22, 2013 by  
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The world’s first bionic eye is set to hit the US market next month! The Argus II is a retinal implant that helps restore vision to patients blinded by a degenerative eye disease. The FDA officially approved the device early this year, following successful trials that allowed some patients to read the newspaper or see in color for the first time in years. Read the rest of The World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Hits US Market Next Month Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bionic eye , blindness , clinical trials , electronic implants , macular degeneration , medical devices , medical technology , optic nerve , retinal implant , retinitis pigementosa , second sight medical products        

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The World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Hits US Market Next Month

Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $3 Million to Double Nepal’s Tiger Population by 2022

November 22, 2013 by  
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The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation just donated a whopping $3 million to help the World Wildlife Fund double the population of wild tigers in Nepal by 2022. The grant will aid the WWF in working with the Nepalese government to protect and monitor tiger populations and enact stronger anti-poaching controls. The gracious grant is expected to help increase the tiger population from 3,200 to 6,400 in the next nine years – by year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar. Read the rest of Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $3 Million to Double Nepal’s Tiger Population by 2022 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “World Wildlife Fund” , eco design , green design , images of Leonardo DiCaprio , Leonardo DiCaprio donates $3million to tiger conservation , Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation , Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation $3 million to tigers , Leonardo DiCaprio saves tigers , Nepal tigers , Save Tigers Now , sustainable design , WWF and Leonardo DiCaprio        

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Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $3 Million to Double Nepal’s Tiger Population by 2022

Scientists Crack Code That Would Allow Bionic Eyes to Send Signals to the Brain

August 16, 2012 by  
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Two researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have ‘cracked’ a mouse’s retina’s neural code and they believe that this information could be used to create a prosthetic device to restore sight to blind mice. The team have also done the same for a monkey retina — which is essentially identical to that of a human. In short, the researchers think that they can now design and create a bionic device that would allow the blind to see! Read the rest of Scientists Crack Code That Would Allow Bionic Eyes to Send Signals to the Brain Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bionic eyes , blind mice , blindness , neural code , prosthetic device , retina prosthetics , star trek , visor , weill cornell medical college

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Scientists Crack Code That Would Allow Bionic Eyes to Send Signals to the Brain

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