No Blind Mice…

Not too dissimilar to Saturday’s blog, I’m amazed by the whole concept of medical breakthroughs and I remember a few years ago that a mouse had a human ear attached to it – I’m not sure if you heard about it? The mouse certainly did, as he had an enormous ear on his back…

Two days ago it was revealed that some mice had their blindness cured by injecting light-sensing cells into their eyes. Whichever way you look at this, such a feat is remarkable; albeit the scientists are remaining fairly modest – they’re being as quiet as a mouse…

For both conceiving and then successfully implementing the idea, the scientists at Oxford University (I think this is quite a highly regarded university) deserve a huge pat on the back – presuming they don’t have a massive ear on there…

Indeed, for even paying that much attention that they noticed said mice were blind in the first place is pretty impressive. Personally I don’t know much about blindness and I haven’t had many tests on my eyes; that said, I once went for a retinal scan – unfortunately though, I misheard when the opthalmist said ‘retinal’ and by the time I’d taken my trousers off I started to look a bit silly…

The question of whether animals being used for research purposes is an ethical minefield – note, hopefully animals aren’t being used to test actual minefields.

Additionally, it is reassuring to see scientists actually trying to achieve something instead of working out the optimal amount of butter on a slice of toast – note, I’m assuming that the scientists in question are considering using these initial findings and apply them to humans, as opposed to trying to put out of business any shops that specialise in selling white canes and sunglasses to the rodent market. In all honesty, as markets go, the aforementioned market is about as niche as the market for replica Mitt Romney action dolls.

Whilst this improvement in technology to cure blindness is impressive, blindness curing research came on leaps during the tenure of the last Government, with many Politicians becoming actively involved. There was the used of ‘bionic eyes’ (which Gordon Brown was apparently keen to promote) and there was also the used of ‘retinal chips’… which were eaten by John Prescott…

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