A New Zealand link to cutting-edge international retina research is covered in today’s Dominion Post by Olivia Wannan.
An excerpt (read in full here):
Kiwis help with lab-grown retina
In what sounds like a gruesome sci-fi plot, Victoria University researcher David Ackerley is preparing to grow an artificial retina.
The biotechnologist, and others in a world-leading international team, hope it could help to cure one of the most common forms of vision loss.
The retina is a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, connecting to the brain and allowing us to see. Though its cells consistently regrow themselves, this is an imperfect process – and some people are genetically predisposed to more frequent damage or the repair going astray, leading to degenerative blindness.
The “retina in a petri dish” will be grown from stem cells at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Ackerley’s team at Victoria and a second at Johns Hopkins will act as chefs, designing the ideal DNA recipe.