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Can we regenerate our eyes? Yes! Tonight our amazing scientists will drive you in the mysterious world of using stem cells to repair or recreate retina. Join us downstairs at The New Moon to find out the latest findings in eye therapy and take the chance of winning fabulous Pint of Science and Hindawi goodies!
Saving Sight with Stem Cells
Prof Rachael Pearson (Professor of Developmental Neuroscience)
Sight is one of our most precious senses and its loss can have a devastating impact on our lives. Some parts of our body, like our liver, are very good at repairing themselves after injury. Unfortunately, our nervous system is not so adept at this sort of repair and loss of the light sensing cells in the retina, the photoreceptors, leads to a permanent loss of vision. There is much excitement about the potential for using stem cells to help us to treat this loss. Rachel will show how stem cells can be grown into new photoreceptor cells in the lab and transplanted back into the damaged eye.
Is human retinal regeneration possible?
Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Recent advances in stem cell technology have demonstrated the potential to generate photoreceptor donor cells from embryonic stem cells. Anai differentiates pluripotent stem cells into retinal cell types using 3D cell cultures. The new cell structures integrate and maturate following transplantation into mice. So could we use this approach with patients with retinal degeneration?