Fish research may help cure eye diseases
Published Sunday, February 3, 2013 3:45PM MST
New research from the University of Alberta may lead to a cure for eye diseases.
Ted Allison says test done on zebrafish have provided positive results that could be replicated in humans.
“If we manipulate zebrafish retina in a certain way, we can make the stem cells become mostly cone photo receptors,” he explained.
These cones are the cells that assist in daylight vision.
Allison said that although humans don’t have stem cells in their eyes like the zebrafish do, human eyes have something very similar.
“It might be that we can find a trigger to turn cells in the human eye into stem cells to repair vision.
“We would talk to our colleagues about which gene switches have been turned on and off in zebrafish and they could try and turn those same switches on and off in human stem cells.”
However, he cautions that they are still years away from clinical treatment.
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith