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Eye chip sends signals to blind rats' brains

Retinal prostheses stimulate animals' visual cortices

The partial blindness that accompanies macular degeneration and other retina-damaging diseases may soon be treatable with a new prosthetic. Rats with faulty vision that received the prosthetic implants responded to light with activity in their brains’ visual cortexes, a team from Stanford and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland reports.

The results, published June 18 in Nature Communications, pave the way for people to use such chips, which are part of a bionic eye that doesn’t require surgically implanted wires, as existing retinal prosthetics do (SN: 6/16/12, p. 12).

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