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 Post subject: Cure for Blindness
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:55 am 
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The Game Master.
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No, really.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11670044

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2 November 2010 Last updated at 20:49 ET
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Implanted chip 'allows blind people to detect objects'
By Neil Bowdler

A man with an inherited form of blindness has been able to identify letters and a clock face using a pioneering implant, researchers say.

Miikka Terho, 46, from Finland, was fitted with an experimental chip behind his retina in Germany. Success was also reported in other patients.

The chip allows a patient to detect objects with their eyes, unlike a rival approach that uses an external camera.

Details of the work are in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Professor Eberhart Zrenner, of Germany's University of Tuebingen, and colleagues at private company Retina Implant AG initially tested their sub-retinal chip on 11 people.

Some noticed no improvement as their condition was too advanced to benefit from the implant, but a majority were able to pick out bright objects, Prof Zrenner told the BBC.

However, it was only when the chip was placed further behind the retina, in the central macular area in three people, that they achieved the best results.

Two of these had lost their vision because of the inherited condition retinitis pigmentosa, or RP, the other because of a related inherited condition called choroideraemia.

RP leads to the progressive degeneration of cells in the eye's retina, resulting in night blindness, tunnel vision and then usually permanent blindness. The symptoms can begin from early childhood.

The best results were achieved with Mr Terho, who was able to recognise cutlery and a mug on a table, a clock face and discern seven different shades of grey. He was also able to move around a room independently and approach people.

In further tests he read large letters set out before him, including his name, which had been deliberately misspelled. He soon noticed it had been spelt in the same way as the Finnish racing driver Mika Hakkinnen.

"Three or four days after the implantation, when everything was healed, I was like wow, there's activity," he told the BBC from his home in Finland.

"Right after that, if my eye hit the light, then I was able to see flashes, some activity which I hadn't had.

"Then day after day when we started working with it, practising, then I started seeing better and better all the time."

Soon Mr Terho was able to read letters by training his mind to bring the component lines that comprised the letters together.

The prototype implant has now been removed, but he has been promised an upgraded version soon. He says it can make a difference to his life.

"What I realised in those days was that it was such a great feeling to focus on something," he says.

"Even having a limited ability to see with the chip, it will be good for orientation, either walking somewhere or being able to see that something is before you even if you don't see all the tiny details of the object."

Electrical impulses

The chip works by converting light that enters the eye into electrical impulses which are fed into the optic nerve behind the eye.

It is externally powered and in the initial study was connected to a cable which protruded from the skin behind the ear to connect with a battery.

The team are now testing an upgrade in which the device is all contained beneath the skin, with power delivered though the skin via an external device that clips behind the ear.

This is by no means the only approach being taken by scientists to try to restore some visual ability to people with retinal dysfunction - what's called retinal dystrophy.

A rival chip by US-based Second Sight that sits on top of the retina has already been implanted in patients, but that technique requires the patient to be fitted with a camera fixed to a pair of glasses.

Charities gave the news of the latest work a cautious welcome.

David Head, of the British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society, said: "It's really fascinating work, but it doesn't restore vision. It rather gives people signals which help them to interpret."

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:58 am 
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We're really stepping into cyborging now arent we.... its a good thing but a little scary.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:12 am 
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Yeah, and Cochlear implants for deafness and stuff.

Exciting stuff!

What I didn't believe is that there are people that are *against* the cochlear implants for children, saying it will alienate and destroy "deaf culture"

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:44 am 
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Is it good enough to look at porn?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Müs wrote:
Yeah, and Cochlear implants for deafness and stuff.

Exciting stuff!

What I didn't believe is that there are people that are *against* the cochlear implants for children, saying it will alienate and destroy "deaf culture"


Yeah, I remember some parents didn't want it for their daughter, because they wanted her to be a part of the "deaf culture".

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Vindicarre wrote:
Müs wrote:
Yeah, and Cochlear implants for deafness and stuff.

Exciting stuff!

What I didn't believe is that there are people that are *against* the cochlear implants for children, saying it will alienate and destroy "deaf culture"


Yeah, I remember some parents didn't want it for their daughter, because they wanted her to be a part of the "deaf culture".



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:48 am 
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My friends daughter had meningitis when she was 2, it destroyed her hearing and she would be deaf if not for the cochlear implants. She is 4 now and speaks normally ! She only has to contend with the hearing aid-like devices that she wears. She has adapted so well though and sometimes she takes them off when her mom is scolding her lol.

That is kinda cool..imagine ..you are trying to study and it's too loud...poof quiet!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:27 am 
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Hmm, deaf culture is something new to me, but I don't see why one wouldn't develop with enough deaf or near deaf people around.

I wonder what it is all about.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:48 am 
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Is it too early to get in line for the spinal cord replacement now?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:32 am 
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I'd be happy with fat removal and pancreas repair

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:38 am 
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I could use some new high capacity lungs.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:43 am 
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Genitalia enhancement would be a major market, body sculpting would put a lot of doctor's kids through college.

Immortality and enduring sexiness through better medicine!

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 Post subject: Re: Cure for Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Commence Primary Ignition
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I want synaptic boosters, boosted reflexes, spinal superconductors, a smartgun link, infrared and low-light vision, and maybe titanium bone lacing.

I hope I have enough essence for all that.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:05 pm 
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Which edition? Synaptic boosters and boosted reflexes are incompatible in anything except the current Ed.

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 Post subject: Re: Cure for Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Maybe its wired reflexes I'm thinking of. In 2E I know you could stack level 1 synaptic boosters with one or the other.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:19 pm 
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bah... ignore the essence restriction and come to my world... the big blue energy lines are easy to ignore after a time.

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 Post subject: Re: Cure for Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:36 pm 
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That's a good point! Then I could have a plasma ejector and a railgun too!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:41 pm 
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I already have a plasma ejector ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:49 pm 
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dont forget dermal plating


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Müs wrote:
I already have a plasma ejector ;)


LMFAO!!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:58 am 
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Müs wrote:
I already have a plasma ejector ;)


Screeling Continental Mark IV?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:22 am 
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New knees and eyes that won't end up with glaucoma, pls! :)

Don't need cyborg implants, but a Bubblegum Crisis-esque hard suit would be pretty sweet.

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