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New Measurements Reveal Differences Between Stem Cells for Treating Retinal Degeneration

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By growing two types of stem cells in a “3-D culture” and measuring their ability to produce retinal cells, a team lead by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researchers has found one cell type to be better at producing retinal cells. The research not only reveals which stem cell type might be better for treating retinal degeneration, but it also demonstrates a standardized method for quantifying the effectiveness of different stem cells for such therapies.

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In Blinding Eye Disease, Trash-Collecting Cells Go Awry, Accelerate Damage

Spider-like cells inside the brain, spinal cord and eye hunt for invaders, capturing and then devouring them. These cells, called microglia, often play a beneficial role by helping to clear trash and protect the central nervous system against infection. But a new study by researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) shows that they also accelerate damage wrought by blinding eye disorders, such as retinitis pigmentosa. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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On the Brink of Chaos: Physicists Find Phase Transition in Visual Cortex

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Physicists have found that intense visual input forces the brain into a brief moment of chaos, but the visual cortex spontaneously returns the brain to its optimal function.

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A Microtubule “Roadway” in the Retina Helps Provide Energy for Vision

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Researchers have discovered a thick band of microtubules in certain neurons in the retina that they believe acts as a transport road for mitochondria that help provide energy required for visual processing.

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Don’t Let Summer Fun Interfere with Keeping Your Peepers Protected

Environmental factors like pool and ocean water seem harmless, but they can actually affect eye health. UAB experts break down how to stay safe this season.

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What's New in Contact Lenses? Prescribing Trends Reflect New Lens Materials and Designs

More Americans are using soft contact lenses—especially daily disposable lenses—and taking advantage of new designs targeting vision problems that were difficult to correct with previous contact lenses, reports the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

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How Understanding GPS Can Help You Hit a Curveball

Our brains track moving objects by applying one of the algorithms your phone’s GPS uses, according to researchers at the University of Rochester. This same algorithm also explains why we are fooled by several motion-related optical illusions, including the sudden “break” of baseball’s well known “curveball illusion.”

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Musicians Don’t Just Hear in Tune, They Also See in Tune

A new experiment shows that auditory melodies can enhance a musician's visual awareness of written music, particularly when the two match.

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Cataract Culprits

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When cataracts encroach on the eyes, the only effective remedy is to surgically replace the eyes' lenses with synthetic substitutes. But what if scientists found a way to delay or prevent cataracts from forming in the first place? Researchers at the University of Delaware may have found such an opportunity by identifying the prime suspects in the formation of cataracts – deficiency of two genes that encode regulatory proteins.

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Eye’s Motion Detection Sensors Identified

Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a neural circuit in the retina that carries signals enabling the eye to detect movement. The finding could help in efforts to build artificial retinas for people who have suffered vision loss.