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Significant Breakthrough In Restoring Human Sight

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posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 11:07 AM
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Scientists may have made a significant breakthrough in restoring human sight, as a woman who had been blind for seven years has regained the ability to see shapes and colours with a bionic eye implant.

The 30-year-old woman had a wireless visual stimulator chip inserted into her brain by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) surgeons in the first human test of the product. As a result, she could see colored flashes, lines, and spots when signals were sent to her brain from a computer.

The device, which was developed as part of the Orion 1 programme by Second Sight, uses technology to restore sight by bypassing the optic nerve to stimulate the brain’s visual cortex, according to chairman Robert Greenberg.

It is designed for those who cannot benefit from the Argus II retinal system that was unveiled at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital last year, but has limited application, as it depends on the patient having some retinal cells.

This new system goes one step further by sending signals directly to the brain. It has the potential to restore sight to those who have gone completely blind for virtually any reason, including glaucoma, cancer, diabetic retinopathy, or trauma, according to the manufacturer.

The next step is to connect the implant to a camera on a pair of glasses, and the company plans to seek FDA approval in 2017 to get the go ahead to conduct these trials.


This is wonderful news. This system send signals wirelessly to a chip that is implanted, this bypasses the optic nerve.

This is a huge development, I would love to see this help people with spinal problems, maybe help people to walk that are paralyzed.



www.rt.com...




posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 11:30 AM
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Second Sight Medical... said today the 1st patient was implanted with its Orion 1 visual cortical prosthesis device designed to restore vision to blind patients.

The procedure was performed as part of a proof-of-concept trial at UCLA. The trial looks to show initial safety and feasibility for human visual cortex stimulation, Sylmar, Calif.-based Second Sight said.

“Based on these results, stimulation of the visual cortex has the potential to restore useful vision to the blind, which is important for independence and improving quality of life,”

Massdevice.com, Oct. 25, 2016 - Second Sight reveals 1st implant of Orion I visual cortical stimulator.

While this is great news for those that would need such a device I think it speaks more about the power of the brain. The brain seems designed to take ANY signal and turn it into useful information. That is how cochlear implants work: a tiny electrode stimulates the area of the ear responsible for hearing. The damaged part of the ear is circumvented and the brain converts the stimuli into hearing. Kind of sounds like the same thing here, the brain is taking in visual cue signals

Cool news nonetheless!




posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF




The brain seems designed to take ANY signal and turn it into useful information.


Do you see this as a possibility for a "go around" for spinal cord damage/breaks?



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: seasonal

I see carbon nanotubes being used for that (spinal cord injuries). CNTs are not intrusive and conduct electricity so that seems like a good fit. There was a study where they put a human stem cell onto a carbon structure and it grew like a neuron without them trying to coax it to grow that way!

I will try and find the link in a little bit.

Still, restoring eye sight is pretty great news!



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:09 PM
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Stories like this are why I come to ATS...

Great source of medical news information



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF




I will try and find the link in a little bit.

Still, restoring eye sight is pretty great news!


Thank you I will look into that info.



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: seasonal


Graphene nanoribbons customized for medical use by William Sikkema, a Rice graduate student and co-lead author of the paper, are highly soluble in polyethylene glycol (PEG), a biocompatible polymer gel used in surgeries, pharmaceutical products and in other biological applications. When the biocompatible nanoribbons have their edges functionalized with PEG chains and are then further mixed with PEG, they form an electrically active network that helps the severed ends of a spinal cord reconnect.

Phys.org: - Graphene nanoribbons show promise for healing spinal injuries.

Found it. Here you go. They use single walled carbon nanotubes in tree like structures. As stated, they functionalize it and the neurons grow along it (misstated that it was stem cells, I was wrong).

Both are great discoveries.



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:37 PM
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Phys.org: - Graphene nanoribbons show promise for healing spinal injuries.
a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Thank you



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

This is awesome!

I have an idea though. They say that the tech is still limited, because it still depends on the patient having retinal cells left.

An improvement could be achieved by placing a layer of artificial light sensors on the device and focus light on this layer instead. Then send the info to the chip in the brain. It would completely bypass the optic nerve, AND allow for better vision than the original eye.



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: swanne




An improvement could be achieved by placing a layer of artificial light sensors on the device and focus light on this layer instead.


I have very limited knowledge of the hardware. Are there devices capable of being implanted to gather and send info like your post suggests?



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

The thing I'm suggesting is actually based on the tech in your OP.

Edit:

Oops, looks like they've already thought about using artificial sensors (a camera)! From your op:


The next step is to connect the implant to a camera on a pair of glasses


All right! Way to go!
edit on 3-11-2016 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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man, at times like this I do hope there is reincarnation. I am just in awe as to where we will be technologically speaking in about 100 years.
Maybe by the time I am getting ripe, cryostasis will be a reasonable and affordable "burial" method..wake up in a few hundred years on some space colony living in a dreamland. (one can hope)

Great news for the blind and no doubt eventually people with other forms of vision loss.



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