WBH Science Week – Edition 1

Editorial By Chris hofstader

This is the first edition of the World Blind Herald Science and Medicine Digest. This had been a section in the weekly news digest we publish every Tuesday but, because it was often the largest section and because many articles in this section were loaded with jargon and were difficult for most of our readers to enjoy, we felt it should be an article on its own. It's likely that we'll add the "Preventing Blindness" section to this digest as well.

Some of the stories in the science and medicine digest are written for a law audience and are quite accessible. I've tried to put these stories at the top and leave the more technical ones for those who read deeply into this digest.

How It's Organized

As this is just one section from the larger digest we publish on Tuesdays, all of its articles are at heading level three with a couple of extras at heading level two. It's real easy to navigate.

Science and Medicine

When you are sick, do you want Dr Woke or Dr Smart?

Medical school and postgraduate training is a long and arduous journey, often taking 8-10 years beyond college. There is much to learn, process and assimilate. Clinical judgement stems not only from experience but also from intelligence. Medicine is a high stakes game. Sickness and health lie in the balance, as does life and death (or vision and blindness in my professional world of retina surgery). Medical errors can be due to accidents, incorrect judgement calls, or lack of knowledge. When your health or life is on the line, you want the smartest physician caring for you, making critical decisions, or performing challenging surgery. I would want the best and the brightest caring for me. I am not as much concerned with my doctors’ bedside manner, wokeness, or social skills. This story comes to us from: American Thinker.

Pandemic medical innovations leave behind people with disabilities

Divya Goel, a 35-year-old deaf-blind woman in Orlando, Florida, has had two telemedicine doctors’ appointments during the pandemic. Each time, she was denied an interpreter. Her doctors told her she would have to get insurance to pay for an interpreter, which is incorrect: Under federal law, it is the physician’s responsibility to provide one. Goel’s mother stepped in to interpret instead. But her signing is limited, so Goel, who has only some vision, is not sure her mother fully conveyed what the doctors said. This story comes to us from: Fierce Biotech.

A mouse is not just a mouse

In research on the eye disease AMD, the experimental animals used are often young male mice. This is not optimal for the development of new treatments, as the disease most often affects the elderly – and women. This story comes to us from: EurekAlert.

The chemistry of vision: Reviving eyes from organ donors offers hope for blindness cure

Researchers have discovered a way to revive eyes from organ donors after death, an advance that opens doors to progress against age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other major causes of blindness. The accomplishment, which many experts hadn’t thought possible, gives scientists the ability for the first time to conduct experiments on a functioning human retina, potentially unlocking a treasure trove of new information about the chemistry of vision and what goes wrong in the intricate network of retinal cells when people start losing their sight. This story comes to us from: Genetic Literacy Project.

Lady Louise Windsor's life-changing eye surgery: all the details

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex's daughter Lady Louise Windsor leads an active lifestyle, impressing her granmother the Queen earlier this year with her carriage riding at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. But did you know she underwent major surgery at just 18 months old? This story comes to us from: Hello Magazine.

Sudden-Onset Blindness in a Child With Hypertensive Emergency: Unmasking of Chronic Kidney Disease

A 10-year-old male presented with sudden-onset diminution of vision in both eyes. On systemic examination, he had severe hypertension, no pulse deficit, short stature, and no other focal neurological deficit. Dilated fundoscopy showed bilateral grade 4 hypertensive retinopathy with macular star formation. Detailed laboratory investigations revealed a stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD). We present this case to highlight this rare ocular manifestation of CKD in pediatric age group. This story comes to us from: Cureus.

New technology reveals cellular changes across neural-epithelial-vascular complex in choroideremia

By combining traditional eye imaging techniques with adaptive optics – a technology that enhances imaging resolution – researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have shown for the first time how cells across different tissue layers in the eye are affected in people with choroideremia, a rare genetic disorder that leads to blindness. Their study, which was funded by the NEI Intramural Research Program, is published in Communications Biology. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health. This story comes to us from: News Medical.

Big science prize goes to new approaches on corneal disease

A Dutch and a Swedish scientist are sharing a €1 million ($1 million) eyesight prize from a Portuguese foundation for their innovative work on corneal diseases. Gerrit Melles, from the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery in Rotterdam, has revolutionized the surgical treatment of corneal disease, the Champalimaud Foundation said Wednesday in announcing the winners of its annual Vision Award. This story comes to us from: ABC News.

Father of modern corneal science honored with the 2022 António Champalimaud Vision Award

Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD, whose pioneering research at Mass Eye and Ear and in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) has forever changed the way conditions of the cornea are understood and treated, has been presented with the 2022 António Champalimaud Vision Award for his vast contributions to vision research. Dr. Dohlman, who was born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1922 and trained at the University of Lund and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, received the award along with fellow 2022 Champalimaud Laureate, Gerrit R. J. Melles, MD, PhD, founder of the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery (NIIOS) and the Melles Cornea Clinic in Rotterdam. This story comes to us from: News-Medical.net.

Impact of an intervention for avoidable vision loss on visual function in the elderly–The Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in Elderly Study (HOMES

Elderly individuals in residential care with avoidable VI had a significant improvement in visual function after relatively low-cost interventions such as spectacles and cataract surgery. Strategies are needed to provide these interventions for the elderly in ‘homes for the aged’ in India. This story comes to us from: Nature.

Why 19 members of this Assam family are blind

This story comes from Times Of India, it is a difficult web site that some sighted people have trouble with. In the past it's crashed my browswer but this time I was able to get a story from it. So, you've been warned about this publication.

Early this year the Wahid family greeted its newest member without cheer. The baby boy was born blind. For Abdul Wahid, patriarch of the four-generation household, congenital blindness has been a recurring nightmare. There are 19 sightless members in his extended family of 33. This story comes to us from: Times of India.


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