The ability of zebra fish to regenerate damaged retinas has given scientists a clue about restoring human vision and could lead to an experimental treatment for blindness within 5 years. An adult stem cell found in the eyes of both fish and mammals that develops into neurons in the retina has been developed. In future, these cells could be injected into the eye as a treatment for disease such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes related blindness.
However, the research is still in very early stages and any treatments resulting from this are likely to be years away."
The discovery, discussed in the journal Stem Cells, is just one of several recent breakthroughs in the search for a cure for blindness.
Teams of British researchers are working on creating patches of replacement cells which can be injected into the damaged eye and on using genes to restore sight.