London, Algae water plants or algae has similarities to the human eye, which is equally sensitive to light stimuli. Similarity is an inspiration to scientists who use these water plants to cope with damage to the retina in the blind.
A study conducted at the University of Southern California reveals, Algae has a certain gene that makes it very sensitive to light. This sensitivity is needed in photosynthesis, the process of making food with the help of sunlight.
The gene is believed to have a mechanism similar to genes found in the retina, the part of the eye that serves catch the light. Light is captured by the retina is converted into electrical signals transmitted by nerves to the brain.
In the blind, the retina ability to capture light greatly reduced or even completely unavailable. Similarities between gene catcher light on algae with genes in the retina used by scientists to overcome blindness.
In the experiment, injection of gene Algae are able to make eye mice become more sensitive to light. Securities that appear to be permanent, meaning that only needs to be done once in a lifetime then the effect will last forever.
If developed further, then its application in humans is expected to overcome the problem of retinal damage that can lead to blindness. It is estimated, about 1 million cases of blindness in Britain triggered by damage to the retina.
“The idea behind this research is to cure blindness,“ said the researcher, Alan Horsager as quoted by the Telegraph, Sunday (04/17/2011).
However, to be applied to humans, this breakthrough is expected to still need a long process.