Researchers Build Light-Powered Eye

Researchers Build Light-Powered Eye

image

A bionic retinal implant may help the blind see.

Blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan once sang that love could give sight to the blind. Unfortunately, modern medical science has yet to make any breakthroughs in love-based optics. The good news, however, is that researchers have been having much better luck harnessing the power of light. A retinal implant powered by concentrated visible light has restored limited sight functionality in blind test animals, and if this line of research advances, a relatively simple surgery could help the visually impaired see again.

A team of researchers writing for Nature Photonics devised and tested the device in a number of lab rats. The implant, which attaches to the back of the eye, absorbs near-infrared light via a special pair of glasses, eliminating the need for a conventional battery. While normal, natural light is roughly 1000 times too weak to power the device, it is still less cumbersome than a traditional battery, which usually fits behind the ear and attaches via an intrusive cable.

While the device has yet to see human testing, similar retinal implants have demonstrated encouraging results in patients, including restoring partial sight in patients with degenerative ocular diseases. At present, these implants can only restore non-image forming vision, which is a mechanical function of the eye, rather than image-forming vision, which has more to do with how the brain perceives visual information.

Admittedly, this technology is not at Geordi La Forge levels just yet, but each new medical discovery has humble beginnings. Self-sustaining, minimally intrusive implants could be a fascinating new avenue of treatment for those who have lost their sight - and, perhaps someday, for those who never had it to begin with.

Source: Nature Photonics via BBC News

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I asked for this.

Hmmm... I heard something strange in my Psychology class the other day. Something about how, if given the opportunity, blind people would not want their sight restored. Not really to sure why though they wouldn't want to see though. (My best guess would be that they lived with being blind so long they are accustomed to it, and don't feel the want or need to see.) Irregardless this would be a pretty cool thing for those who WOULD like to see again. I sure hope they make some quick progress on this.

when will they make a light powered laser eye implant?
or xray vision.... or cool slidy sunglasses with vital signs...

I guess I'll keep an EYE on this story as it plays out.

But seriously this is awesome.

The Mighty Stove:
I guess I'll keep an EYE on this story as it plays out.

But seriously this is awesome.

Anyone could see that your puns are horrible.

Well, if your going to make an eye powered by anything, might as well be the thing it is used to do.

image

the future is looking bright.... or dark.
please do not screw up this world until i can afford a holodeck.

Always nice to hear about people working for big science projects making progress and not puttint their money on stupid tests but stuff that might actually one day be (very) useful.

I suppose soon we can say that our vision is augmented.

Guffe:
Always nice to hear about people working for big science projects making progress and not puttint their money on stupid tests but stuff that might actually one day be (very) useful.

We owe quite a few of our modern advances to "stupid tests." I wouldn't be at all surprised if the subject of this thread started out as a "stupid test." Looking only into what is currently practical would leave us with highly refined ox-pulled carts.

I wonder how it would feel to have been blind all your life, and then suddenly be able to see for the first time...

DasDestroyer:
I wonder how it would feel to have been blind all your life, and then suddenly be able to see for the first time...

You would have severe difficulty in understanding the most basic shapes you would be looking at and you would need years of therapy to make use of your vision.

Jmp_man:
Hmmm... I heard something strange in my Psychology class the other day. Something about how, if given the opportunity, blind people would not want their sight restored. Not really to sure why though they wouldn't want to see though. (My best guess would be that they lived with being blind so long they are accustomed to it, and don't feel the want or need to see.) Irregardless this would be a pretty cool thing for those who WOULD like to see again. I sure hope they make some quick progress on this.

I suppose that there are plenty of cases of people whose other senses have adapted and become more heightened after they lost their sight, so maybe they would rather maintain that level of acuteness in the rest of their senses than regain their sight.

Arkynomicon:

DasDestroyer:
I wonder how it would feel to have been blind all your life, and then suddenly be able to see for the first time...

You would have severe difficulty in understanding the most basic shapes you would be looking at and you would need years of therapy to make use of your vision.

Yeah, it probably wouldn't be very pleasant. :/

NinjaDeathSlap:

Jmp_man:
Hmmm... I heard something strange in my Psychology class the other day. Something about how, if given the opportunity, blind people would not want their sight restored. Not really to sure why though they wouldn't want to see though. (My best guess would be that they lived with being blind so long they are accustomed to it, and don't feel the want or need to see.) Irregardless this would be a pretty cool thing for those who WOULD like to see again. I sure hope they make some quick progress on this.

I suppose that there are plenty of cases of people whose other senses have adapted and become more heightened after they lost their sight, so maybe they would rather maintain that level of acuteness in the rest of their senses than regain their sight.

Not only would the therapy and not actually being able to use your sight for a while make the whole ordeal nasty, but having your hearing and tactile perception weaken after using them all your life... I can see why someone wouldn't want to go through it.
Hehe, see.
I'll be going now

Keep up the Science! I want my cybereyes.

Jmp_man:
Hmmm... I heard something strange in my Psychology class the other day. Something about how, if given the opportunity, blind people would not want their sight restored. Not really to sure why though they wouldn't want to see though. (My best guess would be that they lived with being blind so long they are accustomed to it, and don't feel the want or need to see.) Irregardless this would be a pretty cool thing for those who WOULD like to see again. I sure hope they make some quick progress on this.

Have you ever seen those shows where there's an episode where the cast try to change another person or situation and once they do they find that they aren't comfortable with it now, even though it actually is better, so they change it back? That's a lot like what the blind not wanting their sight would be like, but in both cases it's simply a matter of sticking with it long enough until they get used to it, then they'd see how much better it was.

NOBODY is better off being blind or deaf or otherwise disabled in any way, whether you're born with it or not.

NinjaDeathSlap:

I suppose that there are plenty of cases of people whose other senses have adapted and become more heightened after they lost their sight, so maybe they would rather maintain that level of acuteness in the rest of their senses than regain their sight.

That's simply your brain adapting to the lack of sight by paying more attention to your other senses than it normally would. However, it's merely to cope with the lack of sight, it's not like Daredevil where you'd be better off if you didn't have your sight, those heightened senses are still VASTLY inferior to actually having sight.

Science scores another point. Cha-ching!

Arkynomicon:

DasDestroyer:
I wonder how it would feel to have been blind all your life, and then suddenly be able to see for the first time...

You would have severe difficulty in understanding the most basic shapes you would be looking at and you would need years of therapy to make use of your vision.

A year and a half or so, and you should be right as rain. If babies can do it in that time, so can people who are wanting this. Even two years of work, for something that could potentially better the rest of your life, is totally worth it.

BehattedWanderer:
Science scores another point. Cha-ching!

Arkynomicon:

DasDestroyer:
I wonder how it would feel to have been blind all your life, and then suddenly be able to see for the first time...

You would have severe difficulty in understanding the most basic shapes you would be looking at and you would need years of therapy to make use of your vision.

A year and a half or so, and you should be right as rain. If babies can do it in that time, so can people who are wanting this. Even two years of work, for something that could potentially better the rest of your life, is totally worth it.

A baby does nothing but learn. There's a reason children pick up languages far faster than adults.

There have been people who've never heard before and had cochlear implants. (I've also got it in the back of my mind that people can have eye transplants. Although I'm not sure about that.) It can take significantly more than 1 or 2 years to really get to grips with a completely new sense being dumped on you late in life.

But yea, it would totally be worth it.

Captcha: lickety-split

Dear god this new one is fucking psychic. 90% of the time it says something semi-relevant.

Well as stated above babies deal with these kinda things a lot easier since they are a sponge for information as opposed to a grown-up individual.

Scars Unseen:

Guffe:
Always nice to hear about people working for big science projects making progress and not puttint their money on stupid tests but stuff that might actually one day be (very) useful.

We owe quite a few of our modern advances to "stupid tests." I wouldn't be at all surprised if the subject of this thread started out as a "stupid test." Looking only into what is currently practical would leave us with highly refined ox-pulled carts.

I do know that, for example Edison had over 200 different lightbulbs before he made the correct one so I assume maybe 170 of those were just really shitty stuff, and you can always learn.
But I mean stuff like inflatable dartboards... (that's an actual invention people have patented).
But yea, still nice to see that someone is awake and pointing out stuff, you couldn't possibly know that I knew about what you pointed out, or did you...?!

Guffe:

Scars Unseen:

Guffe:
Always nice to hear about people working for big science projects making progress and not puttint their money on stupid tests but stuff that might actually one day be (very) useful.

We owe quite a few of our modern advances to "stupid tests." I wouldn't be at all surprised if the subject of this thread started out as a "stupid test." Looking only into what is currently practical would leave us with highly refined ox-pulled carts.

I do know that, for example Edison had stole over 200 different lightbulbs before he made the correct one so I assume maybe 170 of those were just really shitty stuff, and you can always learn.
But I mean stuff like inflatable dartboards... (that's an actual invention people have patented).
But yea, still nice to see that someone is awake and pointing out stuff, you couldn't possibly know that I knew about what you pointed out, or did you...?!

Hey, don't knock the bargame sciences. That inflatible dart board is going to change the... bars. Or something. Also, edited for fun hyperbole(or it could be entirely factual, for all I know. With Edison it's kind of hard to tell where the genius ends and the crook begins).

Scars Unseen:

Guffe:

Scars Unseen:

We owe quite a few of our modern advances to "stupid tests." I wouldn't be at all surprised if the subject of this thread started out as a "stupid test." Looking only into what is currently practical would leave us with highly refined ox-pulled carts.

I do know that, for example Edison had stole over 200 different lightbulbs before he made the correct one so I assume maybe 170 of those were just really shitty stuff, and you can always learn.
But I mean stuff like inflatable dartboards... (that's an actual invention people have patented).
But yea, still nice to see that someone is awake and pointing out stuff, you couldn't possibly know that I knew about what you pointed out, or did you...?!

Hey, don't knock the bargame sciences. That inflatible dart board is going to change the... bars. Or something. Also, edited for fun hyperbole(or it could be entirely factual, for all I know. With Edison it's kind of hard to tell where the genius ends and the crook begins).

True that Edison point, is.
But as far as I know the lightbulb idea is pretty much an invention of his but yeah, he was pretty much a patent thief in the end, so more of a business man than an inventor perhaps?

Thedutchjelle:
I suppose soon we can say that our vision is augmented.

Damn it! I was gonna say that! XD

This is pretty cool news though. :o

 

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