Eye’s recycling process key to seeing color, bright light

The retina’s rods and cones allow us to see. But although scientists have an idea of what makes rods perform and flourish, they’ve been somewhat in the dark regarding what keeps cones working and thriving. Now, School of Medicine researchers led by Thomas A. Ferguson, PhD, believe they’re closer to the answer and that their findings may one day help preserve vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.

Eye’s motion detection sensors identified

Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a neural circuit in the retina that carries signals enabling the eye to detect movement. The finding could help in efforts to build artificial retinas for people who have suffered vision loss.

The human eye can see ‘invisible’ infrared light

Science textbooks say we can’t see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are longer than the light waves in the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers co-led by Frans Vinberg, PhD, (left) and Vladimir J. Kefalov, PhD, has found that under certain conditions, the retina can sense infrared light after all.

Proteins critical to wound healing identified

Mice missing two important proteins of the vascular system develop normally and appear healthy in adulthood, as long as they are not injured in some way. If they are, their wounds don’t heal properly, a new study shows. The research has possible implications for treating diseases involving abnormal blood vessel growth, including in the skin and eye.

Apte receives Camras Award

Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, is one of three recipients of the 2014 Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award.

New drug target for childhood eye tumor

New findings from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project have helped identify the mechanism that makes the childhood eye tumor retinoblastoma so aggressive.

Ingredient in red wine may prevent some blinding diseases

Resveratrol — found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and other plants — stops out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye, according to vision researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The discovery has implications for preserving vision in blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Birds ‘one-up’ humans in ability to see color

Researchers at the School of Medicine have peered deep into the eye of the chicken and found a masterpiece of biological design. They plan follow-up studies that could eventually provide helpful insights for scientists seeking to use stem cell and other techniques to treat the nearly 200 genetic disorders that can cause various forms of blindness.

Researchers find novel pathway that helps eyes quickly adapt to darkness

Scientists have long known that cells in the retina called photoreceptors are involved in how vision can adapt to darkness, but a study from investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Boston University School of Medicine has uncovered a new pathway in the retina that allows the cells to adapt following exposure to bright light. The discovery could help scientists better understand human diseases that affect the retina, including age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 50.
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