A man with an inherited form of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, has been able to identify a coffee mug and various shades of gray using a retina implant, according to work published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The Retina Implant AG is a sub-retinal chip placed in the central macular area behind the retina. Their chip works by converting light that enters the eye into electrical impulses which get fed into the optic nerve behind the eye. It requires an external battery which was connected to a cable that protruded from the skin behind the ear.
It's not ready for prime-time just yet and they're not the only ones working on a solution. The BBC notes that a rival chip by US-based Second Sight sits on top of the retina and has already been implanted in patients, but the Second Sight version requires the patient to be fitted with a camera fixed to a pair of glasses.
Citation: Eberhart Zrenner, Karl Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt, Heval Benav, Dorothea Besch, Anna Bruckmann, Veit-Peter Gabel, Florian Gekeler, Udo Greppmaier, Alex Harscher, Steffen Kibbel, Johannes Koch, Akos Kusnyerik, Tobias Peters, Katarina Stingl, Helmut Sachs, Alfred Stett, Peter Szurman, Barbara Wilhelm, and Robert Wilke, 'Subretinal electronic chips allow blind patients to read letters and combine them to words', Proc. R. Soc. B published online before print November 3, 2010, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1747 (free to read)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- War On Doping And The Hypocritical Treatment Of Lance Armstrong
- How Marijuana Use Affects People With Bipolar Disorder
- Avoid These 3 Risk Factors, Gain 13 Years Of Quality Life
- The New York Times On Drugs - Wrong, Naive Or Misleading?
- The Borexino Detector And Its Physics Results
- Why Are Girls More Likely To Die In Pediatric Intensive Care Units?
- 1840s Shipwreck Leads To Important Beer Science Discovery
- "I think it would be very difficult to scientifically assess the effects of marijuana use on people..."
- "Actually that's exactly what the bible is all about real Aliens, not religion. So may i have one..."
- "Addiction is completely fake. Their goal is to push more people into 12 Step 'treatment' which..."
- "dave, you are proving to all your profound ignorance and worse you are revelling in it. How sad..."
- "You've touched on something that drives me insane-- the under-medication of dying patients by hospitals..."
- Grand tree of life: clock-like trend in new species emergence and diversity
- 7 promising compounds in spider venom with potential to relieve chronic pain
- Antiseptic prevents deaths in newborns
- Cellular sequencing technology provides deeper look at mitochondrial inherited disease risk
- Australian science infrastructure funding is being held hostage by government
Books By Writers Here