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Let there be light

Two separate studies restore vision in humans, mice with retinal degeneration

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6:40pm, April 28, 2008

Seeing the light might now get easier for people with a rare, genetic form of blindness. Some blind mice also offer hope that people who have lost all the light processing cells in their eyes might not have to stay in the dark forever.

Gene therapy restored sight in three people with an inherited blindness called Leber’s congenital amaurosis, researchers reported online April 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The blinding disease results from mutations in the RPE65 gene, which encodes a protein that helps rod cells in the eye recycle light-gathering pigments. Cone cells work for a while but also start to break

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