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Curing Blindness

September 18, 2021

One of the areas in technology that I feel the most excited about is biotech.

A really cool example is the video below. It shows the results of a treatment on a severely sight-impaired man, only able to perceive light. He has Retinis Pigmentosa, an inherited disease that affects the eye's photoreceptor cells.

Since the eye's owns photoreceptor cells malfunction, a gene is transferred to the body that encodes a light-sensitive protein, which replaces the function of the eye's own photoreceptor cells. After a few months, his brain had learned to interpret the new stimuli and he was able to identify objects, as shown in the video. The system is not perfect and the man needs to wear a pair of goggles to optimize the view of the surrounding for the light-sensitive protein. Watch the difference between when he is wearing the goggles and not in the video below. Skip to 1 minute to see the tests:

PIONEER Patient Case Report from GenSight Biologics on Vimeo.

Most cases of blindness can be cured. It is extremely encouraging to see companies and scientists working on amazing tech like this.