Stem Cells Could Repair Cataracts

Cataracts are the most common reason for blindness in today’s world. Cataracts are when the lens in your eye becomes clouded and while often associated with the elderly, it also affects the young and even infants. While there is a surgical option to address this issue, a group in China thinks that stem cells could repair cataracts, giving people back their sight.

Currently in order to remove Cataracts, the patient needs to undergo surgery. Removing the lens that has become cloudy, and inserting either a transplanted or even artificial lens granting them back their sight. With millions undergoing the surgery, it’s not uncommon for complications and even diminished results ending with people requiring glasses to assist in their eyesight.

Typically these complications affect 24 our of 25 infants who have to undergo this surgery, but by encouraging the infant’s own stem cells, only one out of twelve infants in the trail had a complication.

While stem cells are a case for hope, with adults generating the stem cells used in this case way into their 40’s, this could become the first step in allowing people to regenerate their lenses in a semi-natural way. This could result in reducing or even removing the issue of cataracts coupled with a much smaller and less invasive technique.

Toddler Loses Eye to Crashing Drone

Drones and the dangers of their use can barely stay out of recent news, but the risks of personal drones once again hit home in Britain recently, when a toddlers eyeball was sliced in half by their neighbour’s drone.

16-month old Oscar Webb was playing in front of his home in Southport-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, while the family’s next door neighbour, Simon Evans was flying his drone in his front garden. It was then that the drone collided with a tree and was sent spinning out of control before hitting Oscar. Despite the drone being flown responsibly, the result was one of the worst incidents involving a consumer drone.

The pilot, Evans was described by the BBC as an experienced drone operator, recounted the event: “It was up for about 60 seconds. As I brought it back down to land, it just clipped the tree and span round. The next thing I know I’ve just heard my friend shriek and say, ‘Oh God no’ and I turned around and just saw blood and his baby on the floor crying.”

After being rushed to hospital, it took multiple attempts at surgery to save the eye before it was determined that it would have to be removed. Doctors described the injury as one of the worst eye injuries that they had ever seen. Dr. Faye Mellington, an optics specialist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, told the BBC: “I’ve not seen one in somebody so young, and I’ve also not see one from a drone.” “Any instrument that can come close to the eye and at high speed can cause devastating injuries,” she said “I supposed given that so many are around now and in frequent use, one may expect several more injuries of this kind.” Oscar is expected to receive a prosthetic eye in the future.

Evans is yet to fly a drone since the incident, “I look at the drones in the garage and I feel physically sick.” He now feels concerned about how dangerous drones can be.

It is incidents like this that really drive home that drones, even used carefully, can be dangerous and that anyone operating a drone should be aware of this and any dangers in their surroundings.

Samsung Tease Eye-Controlled Mouse

Set to help the disabled use computers with ease, Samsung’s eye-tracking technology will allow users to control their computers functionality without needing to handle a physical mouse.

Developed in-house by Samsung engineers, this technology is an advancement of their EYECAN system, a mouse control device utilized through glasses worn by the user. This updated technology is coined the EYECAN+ and enables you to simply look at where you wish to click and physically blink to activate commands and controls on your system. In their demonstrations, Samsung made sure to point out that you can type and perform ‘drag-and-stop’ commands with their new advancement – meaning you can perform simple tasks and play games such as Angry Birds.

This is reportedly not the first eye-tracking software to hit the market and quoted as not the best. However, Samsung are rumored to be making this a open-source style project, meaning other companies are able to gather and build on this technology, with a lot of the ‘hard yards’ already being completed by the Samsung engineering team.

This means that if it were to make it to the public (which Samsung is not planning to do), we could see this retail for an expected $150 in the local market. Further meaning that any person or carer should be able to purchase this device without too much difficulty, massively increasing their computer using abilities.

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University of Michigan Health System Develops First Bionic Eye

I think some of you out there might have wanted to know how will it be to have bionic a bionic eye. Sure, infra-red vision, optical zoom and object analysis might be a day dream for some, but apparently the tech is starting to move from the land of fiction to the land of reality.

The first step appears to come from surgeons at University of Michigan Health System, achieving the first step in developing a customized DNA chip. It is known as a ‘microarray’, helping to diagnose eye disorders, while having successful performed first ever surgery which involves implanting artificial retinas into the eyes of patients who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa, which happens to be a degenerative eye disease that will eventually lead to blindness if nothing is done.

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The bionic eye itself was developed by by California-based Second Sight Medical Products, including professors Thiran Jayasundera and David N. Zacks, who are ophthalmologists at the University’s Kellogg Eye Center. And things are looking up for the project as well, since it already received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2013, giving a green light for implants to be performed using it.

This might not be the most amazing bionic eye with a lot of features, making you a bionic terminator, but it still is a major evolutionary device that should be strongly considered for the future (and upgrades).

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo