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Posts tagged university of california

A Change in Identity Might Someday Save Vision


No, people with inherited retinal diseases don’t have to adopt new names or personas, or go into witness protection programs, to save their vision. But by changing the identity of cells in the retina — namely rods — researchers may someday be able to slow or halt vision loss for those with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and other related conditions.

While the innovative therapeutic approach is not ready to be tested in humans, a research team led by Tom Reh, PhD, University of Washington, and Sheng Ding, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, accomplished the feat in mice with RP. The investigators treated rods in the mice with a compound known as photoregulin1 (PR1) that blocked a gene involved in rod development called Nr2e3. That, in turn, reduced the expression (activity) of other rod-associated genes, making the rods less rod-like and more like cones. Doing so stopped retinal degeneration, preserving both rods and cones. Rods and cones are important, because they’re the cells that make vision possible. Results of the PR1 study were published online in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

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Move Over Titanic, I Have Something Better

Video Included:
Screenshot from video of Human Retina Captured by an Advanced Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope
Are you excited about the new 3D version of the movie Titanic? I’m not. To me, it’s just 194 minutes of Kate and Leonardo running around a big ship together until it hits a big iceberg. Spoiler alert: One of them doesn’t make it. If I were a movie critic, I’d give it a “meh.”

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