Scientists have been immersed in the journey of discovering great mysteries for decades. To comprehend the complexities of this earth to human life, we have witnessed exciting theories and claims over the years. However, this time, it is even more surprising as the collaborative efforts of these remarkable scientists have resulted in a fantastic discovery – reviving the twinkle in a dead human eye!
In medical science, the life space of human cells effects the process of organ transplants, for instance, kidneys remain usable 24 to 36 hours after the donor’s demise if preserved in the appropriate surroundings. However, this is not the case for human eye cells, as the nervous system stops working immediately after a human dies due to deprivation of oxygen. Nevertheless, earlier last week, an article was published in the New York Post spelling out the successful revival of photosensitive neurons, pioneering a revolution into the possibilities for brain and eye disorders, including blindness.
This outcome gives hope to people with eye disorders. “Just being able to take these donor’s eyes and learn how the retina works, and what is going wrong in these illnesses is a significant deal,” said Fatima Abbas, lead author of the new study at the University of Utah.
Regrettably, light-sensing cells, termed ‘photoreceptors,’ do not communicate with neighboring cells due to oxygen deprivation after death. Therefore, a particular transport unit was designed to solve this problem that included artificial blood, oxygen, and essential nutrients. This approach found that they could make the retinal cells communicate in the same way they do in living bodies.
“Past studies have restored very little electrical activity in organ donor eyes, but never to the amount we have now proven,” said Frans Vinberg, a Moran Eye Centre scientist who also participated in the study.
This breakthrough might also contribute to advances in optogenetics, allowing some patients with eye illnesses to regain their eyesight. The University of Utah research has been published in the journal eLife.