Human stem cells ‘help blind rats’

first_imgHealthLifestyle Human stem cells ‘help blind rats’ by: – March 8, 2012 12 Views   no discussions Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share More than one in 10 people over the age of 75 have some form of glaucomaStem cells taken from the back of a human eye have restored some vision to blind rats, according to researchers.They say the findings could help treat blindness, caused by glaucoma, if similar results can be repeated in humans.The study, published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, used the cells to form new nerves in the eye.These hooked up with the existing nerves, restoring sight.Glaucoma can lead to blindness and is caused by a build-up of pressure within the eye. This kills retinal ganglion cells, the nerves which take information from the retina and pass it onto the brain.Researchers at University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital believe they have regenerated the retinal ganglion cells using human stem cells.With permission from families, cell samples were taken from eyes which had been donated for cornea transplants.Very rare cells in the eye, Muller glia stem cells, were collected. These were grown in the laboratory and converted into retinal ganglion cells.These cells were then transplanted into the eyes of rats without retinal ganglion cells. Before the transplant the rats were blind. Afterwards, electrodes attached to the rats’ heads showed that their brains were responding to low levels of light. One of the researchers Dr Astrid Limb said the new cells were not joining up with the optic nerve as they would normally. Instead they appeared to be “bridging” with other nerves in the retina, which could pass the message on.She said: “Although this research is still a long way from the clinic, it is a significant step towards our ultimate goal of finding a cure for glaucoma and other related conditions.”Prof Peng Khaw, the director of the National Institute for Health Research centre at Moorfields, said: “These results are very exciting. “We see patients with glaucoma whose lives would be transformed with an improvement of only a small percentage of nerve cell function. “The results of these experiments suggest that this may be possible in the future using cells we all have in our own eyes to achieve this.”The study was funded by the Medical Research Council. Its head of regenerative medicine, Dr Rob Buckle, said: “Repair of the eye is an area that is now at the forefront of this field, and this study highlights a new route for delivering the promise of regenerative medicine to treat disabling conditions such as glaucoma.” By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News Sharelast_img read more

O’Neill: Let’s make each goal count

first_img Amazingly, Northern Ireland have drawn a blank in their last nine friendles on the road – with that number rising to 11 when you include Carling Nations Cup defeats against the Republic of Ireland and Wales. Indeed, their last away goal outside of qualification came in Finland in 2006, with a teenage Kyle Lafferty grabbing the winner in a 2-1 success. Northern Ireland are hopeful of ending an embarrassing drought in away friendlies when they take on Cyprus on Wednesday night, with manager Michael O’Neill calling on his side to make every goal count. Suspension effectively ended his campaign and the arrival of his second child ruld him out of a subsequent friendly in Turkey. He has spoken with contrition about his red card and is eager to make amends should he get the chance on Wednesday. O’Neill has been critical of the 26-year-old’s contribution during his time in the job, but remains a fan and is eager to get the best out of him in future. “There’s a lot of talk about Kyle and I think at times he’d probably prefer if there was a bit less talk. He just wants to get on with it and play,” said O’Neill. “I don’t think it’s a case of Kyle having to put things right, but for various reasons we’ve had a six-month period without seeing him. “He is (at) an interesting place in his career. “I’m very pleased by the reports I’ve had from Italy and he’s got eight goals for Palermo which is a decent return. There’s also a chance of him playing in Serie A next year, which must be very exciting for him. “But it’s about finding that consistency on the international stage as well because a focused, fit Kyle Lafferty is a big positive for us. “He gives our play a different dimension and if we are going to be successful, Kyle has a big role to play in that.” Northern Ireland have two more friendlies, in Uruguay and Chile, before beginning their Euro 2016 qualifiers in September. Press Association A trip to Nicosia to face a side ranked 122nd in the world presents a wonderful chance to put an end that sequence, but O’Neill knows his side are never going to be a free-scoring outfit and must learn to edge close games when Euro 2016 qualifying begins later this year. “We’ll pick a team with a lot of attacking options against Cyprus and we want to see that bear fruit,” O’Neill told Press Association Sport. “We want to see the team play on the front foot with a smile on their faces. You would obviously like to come away from home and score goals on a regular basis but that’s just not Northern Ireland and it never has been. “The only people who can change that are these players, but we have to accept where we are. We’re not a nation who are going to score a huge number of goals and we never have been. “But if you look at the statistics (from World Cup qualification) one of the most interesting for me was that Greece won eight games and only scored 12 goals. “We have to look at how countries like that progress and qualify for tournaments.” It would be fitting if Lafferty was the man to end his country’s barren streak, with the Palermo striker back in the squad after a self-induced six-month exile. He last played in the 4-2 defeat by Portugal last September, sent off 13 minutes after coming off the bench. last_img read more

Meet Jamie Baillie Veteran Tory leader takes second kick at election can

first_imgHALIFAX – A sketch of Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie:Age: 51Hometown: Truro, N.S.Job before politics: A chartered accountant, he worked as a senior partner at human resources consulting firm Robertson Surrette; vice-president of finance for CitiGroup Properties; chief of staff to former premier John Hamm; and president of Credit Union Atlantic.Leadership history: Elected leader in August 2010; was first elected to the legislature in an October 2010 byelection.Notable moment from campaign: Baillie faced questions after defending a male candidate for online postings while ousting a female one. Baillie insisted there was no double standard in dropping Jad Crnogorac in Dartmouth South for making racially tinged and other jokes, while standing by Matt Whitman in Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, who jokingly acted out what he called a “Chinese fire drill” in a video.Spotted in his office: A small print of the late U.S. president John F. Kennedy sits next to a baseball signed by former Red Sox and Expos lefthander Bill “Spaceman” Lee.Quote: “Ultimately, political parties want their leaders to win for them. I would like to win for my party, but also for all Nova Scotians, and I do believe that we are going to win.”last_img read more