Science Briefs – Edition 20

What's Inside

  • MRNA may provide fix to inherited blindness.
  • Expanding gene therapy for rare blindness causing disease.
  • New approach to studying AMD.
  • And, about ten articles about the science and medicine related to blindness from the entire world.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

This was another relatively slow week for stories about blindness related science stories. It was also another pretty optimistic week with scientists making progress on a number of fronts with their work on various cures and ways to prevent blindness.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Science Briefs.


World Blind herald does not write the stories to which we link in Science Briefs, we gather them, curate them and bring them to our readers. We are not scientists ourselves and cannot guarantee the validity of the stories in this digest. We do, however, want to be very clear that you should not attempt any of the medical interventions mentioned in Science Briefs without first consulting a professional ophthalmologist and discussing it with them. Do not take medical advice from this or any other web site or podcast without first consulting a professional.

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Science and Medicine

mRNA technology may deliver genetic fix to hereditary blindness

Promising research at Oregon State University is working on ways to fix blindness for people with rare genetic conditions. The research centers on the same mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines. This story comes to us from: KMVU FOX 26 Medford.


HuidaGene Therapeutics (HuidaGene), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing CRISPR-based programmable genomic medicine, announces that the US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its investigational new drug (IND) application for the planned multi-national clinical trial of HG004 for the treatment of patients suffering from RPE65 mutation-associated inherited retinal dystrophies, a group of genetic diseases caused by the mutations in RPE65 gene affecting the retina and passed on to the children. This story comes to us from: PR Newswire.

Study reveals expanding gene therapy for rare disease that causes blindness

Usher Syndrome Type 2A, which is brought on by mutations in the USH2A gene, can cause retinitis pigmentosa as well as hearing loss from birth and gradual visual loss (RP). The light-sensitive layer of the eye called the retina is impacted by RP, and this causes the retina's cells to break down, which results in blindness. There is currently no cure for USH2A. This story comes to us from: ET HealthWorld.

Researchers unravel why episodes of low blood sugar worsen eye disease in people with diabetes

People with diabetes who experience periods of low blood sugar — a common occurrence in those new to blood sugar management — are more likely to have worsening diabetic eye disease. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have linked such low blood sugar levels with a molecular pathway that is turned on in oxygen-starved cells in the eye. This story comes to us from: EurekAlert.

The food deficiency known to create a 'hole' in the visual field that enlarges over 'time

Vision loss can result from a host of biological mechanisms spurred by poor nutrition. This story comes to us from: Daily Express.

Economic evaluation of combined population-based screening for multiple blindness-causing eye diseases in China: a cost-effectiveness analysis

More than 90% of vision impairment is avoidable. However, in China, a routine screening programme is currently unavailable in primary health care. With the dearth of economic evidence on screening programmes for multiple blindness-causing eye diseases, delivery options, and screening frequencies, we aimed to evaluate the costs and benefits of a population-based screening programme for multiple eye diseases in China. This story comes to us from: The Lancet.

New Approaches To Macular Degeneration: Test Tube Retinas

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness and affects over 196 million people worldwide. Despite its prevalence, very little is known about the causes or mechanisms of this disease. Now, researchers have engineered a new model of the retina that may help us develop a deeper understanding of macular degeneration, its causes, progression, and ultimately, how we might be able to treat the disease to prevent blindness. This story comes to us from: Forbes.

What to know about your vision and glaucoma awareness

Without treatment, glaucoma can eventually cause blindness. What causes glaucoma? Scientists aren't sure what causes the most common types of glaucoma. This story comes to us from: Tallahassee.Com.

Video: Protecting your eyesight from glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the world's leading causes of blindness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This story comes to us from: – Medical Xpress.