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Researchers Resurrect Ancient Viruses in Hopes of Improving Gene Therapy

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Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Schepens Eye Research Institute have reconstructed an ancient virus that is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina. This discovery, published July 30 in Cell Reports, could potentially be used to design gene therapies that are not only safer and more potent than therapies currently available, but may also help a greater number of patients.

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New Eye-Tracker Method Shows 'Preferred Retinal Location' in Both Eyes

Eyes with central vision loss adapt by developing a new fixation point in a different part of the retina, called the preferred retinal location (PRL). Now for the first time, a new method makes it possible to identify PRLs in both eyes simultaneously, reports a study in the August 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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Six Reasons for Headaches in School-Age Children and How Parents Can Help Relieve the Pain

As the school year approaches and begins, many parents may start to hear their children complain about headaches.

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Inhibition of the Alternative Complement Pathway Preserves Photoreceptor Cells Following Retinal Injury

Vision researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology have taken a first step in solving a vexing problem: how to preserve photoreceptor cells and avoid irreversible vision loss in patients following retinal detachment.

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Vision-Restoring Gene Therapy Also Strengthens Visual Processing Pathways in Brain

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Since 2007, clinical trials using gene therapy have resulted in often-dramatic sight restoration for dozens of children and adults who were otherwise doomed to blindness. Now, researchers have found evidence that this sight restoration leads to strengthening of visual pathways in the brain.

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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.