Thursday, July 23, 2015


News today: "...scientists analyzed the genes of two related families that both often suffered cataracts from birth.

"The researchers discovered that these families carried mutations in a gene involved in manufacturing a small molecule known as lanosterol. Normal versions of lanosterol in healthy eyes help prevent the kind of protein clumping that leads to cataracts, while the abnormal version seen in both families did not.

"To examine what effects lanosterol might have on cataracts, scientists experimented on dogs with naturally occurring cataracts.

"After six weeks of treatment with lanosterol eyedrops, lens cloudiness and cataract size decreased in the dogs. Similar results were seen in experiments with human lens cells and rabbit lenses on lab dishes. "

Too good to be true? Perhaps. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Prosopometamorphopsia: a psychiatric condition that affects perception of faces.

A 52-year-old woman whose rare condition was reported in The Lancet suffered from hallucinations that caused her to see human faces as dragons.

The unidentified patient’s hallucinations were brought under control after she was prescribed rivastigmine, an anti-dementia medication.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Too much Vitamin A?

Yahoo Health 4/21/2015: "Warning: Too Many Dietary Supplements May Increase Cancer Risk"

"One trial showed that taking more than the required amounts of beta-carotene— which is known for its ability to improve immunity and enhance vision — in supplement form increased the risk for developing both lung cancer and heart disease by 20 percent."

“More specifically, taking more than the recommended daily allowance of folic acid, Vitamin E and beta-carotene were all shown to increase cancer risk.”

"If you take vitamins or other dietary supplements, choose products that stay within the recommended daily allowance.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Antibiotics for MRSA

This is interesting. Much like Traditional Chinese Medicine, some of the remedies seem to work but without any scientific proof. Now we have a potential cure with an ancient "antibiotic":

"A 1,000-year-old Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections has been found to be effective against antibiotic-resistant superbugs, researchers from the University of Nottingham said on Monday. The scientists recreated a 9th Century remedy to treat styes.

"The age-old remedy called for "cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together … take wine and bullocks gall, mix with the leek … let it stand nine days in the brass vessel," according to the New Scientist."

So far, it works on MRSA-infected mice.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Printed eyes

CNN 4/17/2014: Batch-printing of up to 150 prosthetic eyes an hour has become a reality according to UK-based company Fripp Design and Research. The mass-production technique promises to speed up the manufacture of eye prostheses and drive down the cost. Printing each eye with slight variation in color is intended to produce better aesthetic results.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.

The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user’s finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.

The opposing view? Here:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do the blind really want an audio reader? Most non-blind or hearing impaired do not understand the culture that lies in these communities, and are treated with a parental nurturing philosophy that borders on being totally insensitive to the needs of these communities. Did any one of these Samaritans ever ask the blind if they even want this. As far as I know most blind would prefer to read from a brail [sic] book, their second choice is an audio reader. When it comes to brail [sic] it is hard to create a page with a large array of dimples that would allow the blind freedom of reading (books, newsprint and leaflets). The visual impaired have a greater tactual sensitivity than all sighted people could never have, not understanding this aspect of their lives means not understanding the community you are trying to aid. 

As far as computers is concerned, they have their own text to audio readers; which just needs to be switched on.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


In another step toward reversing degenerative vision loss, scientists said Tuesday they had coaxed stem cells into growing into a tiny, light-sensing retina in a lab dish.

The study is an important technical feat in using reprogrammed cells [i.e., iPS cells], whose discovery in 2006 [in Japan] has unleashed huge interest, they said.

“We have basically created a miniature human retina in a dish that not only has the architectural organization of the retina but also has the ability to sense light,” said Valeria Canto-Soler of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

“Is our lab retina capable of producing a visual signal that the brain can interpret into an image? Probably not, but this is a good start,” Canto-Solder said in a press release.