21 November 2008
Retinal cells have been created from stem cells
This is exciting news, even granting that the success so far has only been achieved in tadpoles. By forcing expression of certain genes, the researchers were able to reprogram pluripotent frog stem cells to form all classes of retinal cells, including presumably rods and cones, but most importantly the ganglion cells which provide the neural synapses to the retinal nerve. This could eventually have enormous implications for humans with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.