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Brought to light

Life Science

Algae are versatile. They absorb CO2 and are great in the kitchen.

Now a team of Paris-based researchers used information from algae to help reverse blindness. Their test person was a man whose ocular cells were no longer sensitive to light.

Through close examination of glowing algae the team was able to find a specific protein which reacts to light. Its genetic information was injected into the surviving layers of the man’s retina.

Once the protein was created, light caused the cells to send electric signals to the brain. Within months, and using special goggles, the man was able to perceive street markings again after decades.

Today he can not only recognize objects but grab them too.

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