A six-year collaboration between two faculty members of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has yielded new insight regarding the regulation of intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma - an irreversible blinding disease that causes progressive visual impairment due to optic nerve damage and is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. The findings are published PLoS ONE, an open-access peer-reviewed scientific journal, produced by the Public Library of Science. The key finding by associate professors of ophthalmology Richard K. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., and Sanjoy Bhattacharya, M. Tech., Ph.D., validates their hypothesis that the response of aqueous humor (fluid produced in the eye) to mechanical stimuli at the cellular level (mechanosensing) impacts the regulation of IOP through cells converting that stimuli into chemical activity (mechanotransduction).
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have discovered that a part of the immune system called the inflammasome is involved in regulating the development of one of the most common forms of blindness, called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). They have discovered that controlling an inflammatory component IL-18, in cases of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) could prevent the development of the disease. The disease AMD involves loss of central vision, people with advanced disease being unable to read, watch TV, enjoy the cinema, drive, or use a computer - in short, everyday living becomes very difficult. The research, which is published in the international medical journal, Nature Medicine, is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), the Health Research Board (HRB) and Fighting Blindness Ireland.
Scientists have moved a step closer to correcting some unhealthy gene mutations with diet, according to a new research report appearing in the April 2012 issue of the journal GENETICS. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, determined variations and responses to vitamin treatment in the human cystathionine beta synthase gene, which when defective, causes the disease homocystinuria, an inherited metabolic disorder sometimes treatable with vitamin B6. After the analysis, scientists correlated specific gene mutations with severity of the disease, ranging from perfectly healthy and functional to severe and untreatable. Although the current study focused on homocystinuria, testing the effects of naturally occurring gene variations using surrogate organism genetics can be applied to other inherited disorders, such as neural tube defect, cleft palate, and blindness.
Black flies drink blood and spread disease such as river blindness - creating misery with their presence. A University of Georgia study, however, proves that the pesky insects can be useful. Don Champagne, an entomology professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discovered a way to use the black fly's blood-sucking tactics for medical advancement. The results of his research were published in the journal PLoS One. "In order to feed on blood, these insects have to contend with our natural defense agents against blood loss-like clotting, " Champagne said. "Many insects use salivary injections packed with proteins to inhibit the enzymes in our bodies from reacting the way they normally would to injury." In order for insects to earn a blood meal, they have to override the human body's battery of defenses.
Sending Your Recycled Glasses To Developing Countries Costs Twice As Much As Giving Them Ready-Made Glasses
You might feel good sending your old reading glasses to a developing country. But a recent international study, led by the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), a collaborating partner in the Vision CRC, in Sydney, suggests it is far better to give $10 for an eye examination and a new pair of glasses if you want to help someone in desperate need, and it is far better for building capacity in these communities. The study, recently published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, found that only 7% of a test sample of 275 recycled glasses were useable and that this pushed the delivery cost to over $US 20 per pair. There are a wide range of ready-made glasses available, which can be supplied for around half the cost. Over 600 million people are unnecessarily blind or vision impaired globally simply because they need an eye examination and appropriate glasses.