Three blind mice - can now see thanks to 'Star Trek' visor
High-tech glasses with tiny video camera, computer chip restores sight
Three blind mice, see how they run - they can now see, thanks to a "Geordi La Forge" -styled visor from "Star Trek" that researchers have
been working on. The experimental device may soon restore sight to
millions of people around the world as quickly as two years' time.
Three blind mice, see how they run - they can now see, thanks to a 'Geordi La Forge' -styled visor from 'Star Trek' that researchers have been working on.
The New York-based neuroscientist has arrived at a non-surgical technique that uses high-tech glasses embedded with tiny video camera and a computer chip to restore sight. She says that the visors could be tested on humans within two years, restoring sight to the millions of people around the world suffering from blindness due to degenerative eye diseases.
Degenerative eye disease is often caused by infections that damage certain parts of the retina used by the eye to detect light and the neural pathways that attach to the retina. The cells within the retina that communicate with the brain, ganglion cells, are usually left intact. The visors bypass damaged cells and sends the encoded visual information directly to the brain.
Nirenberg was able to decipher the code of neural pulses that the mouse brain forms into images, using a two-path approach that includes a prosthetic device that produces the code plus gene therapy that activates the ganglion cells. She said, "It's just an injection into the eye."
Placed onto a chip and combined with a mini projector, the chip converts the images into electrical impulses and then the projector transforms those pulses into light that is able stimulate proteins inside the ganglion cells.
The information then travels up to the brain where the brain recognizes the data as a sharp image. Nirenberg has worked out the code needed for a monkey retina, which is almost identical to the human retina, giving hope that this invention will have practical applications to the world's blind population.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Blindness, visor, Star Trek, mice, retina, eye surgery
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