Seeing is Believing

Recent advances in genetic therapy, stem cells and bionic implants are reasons to hope that a cure for blindness may be within reach.

In a report by David Dobbs, National Geographic explores advances around the world to treat blindness. In Pennsylvania, doctors successfully inserted a “good” gene into Christian Guardino’s eyes, giving him sight for the first time. And in Cardiff, Wales, the insertion of a microchip into Rhian Lewis’ right eye allows her to interpret bursts of light and partially erase the effects of retinitis pigmentosa.

Though hurdles remain, the treatments offer up lessons for applying similar therapies, not just in the realm of vision. Yet as Dobbs realizes from talking with eye surgeon Helena Ndume, who runs ‘cataract camps’ in Namibia, “in the quest to end blindness, medicine’s biggest challenge is not just finding cures but also delivering them.”
National Geographic

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