University of Washington researchers have found a way to activate cells in the retinas of adult mice to turn into new neurons – a recipe that eventually could lead to new treatments for human eyes damaged by trauma and disease.
UW biologist Tom Reh, one of the authors of a research paper on the experiments published by the journal Nature, said it’s too early to talk about cures – but not too early to talk about hope.
He told GeekWire that the newly published work on cell conversion complements different approaches that rely on cell transplants.
“I hope that one or the other approach starts to deliver results to patients in the near term,” he said. “We’re working really hard every day to make this work for people.”
Making it work for mice was hard enough.