Vision

The evolution of trichromatic color vision in humans occurred by first switching from the ability to detect UV light to blue light between 80 and 30 million years ago and then by adding green-sensitivity(between 45-30 million years ago to the preexisting red-sensitivity in the vertebrate ancestor, according to Shozo Yokoyama et al. in PLOS Genetics.


The retina is the neural tissue in the back of the eye that initiates vision. It is responsible for receiving light signals and converting them into neurologic signals, which are then transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain so that we can see.

Mutations that disrupt vision by damaging the retina and optic nerve have been identified in more than 200 genes. This genetic diversity made genetic diagnostic testing difficult until the recent development of high throughput genomic techniques.


The Six Billion Dollar Man is getting a little bit closer, not just to movie theaters, but in real life. 

A new development toward a prosthetic retina could help counter conditions that result from retinal degeneration, a life-altering health issue for many people, especially as they age.


Congratulations to Masayo Takahashi, MD, PhD, the winner of the 2014 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award.

A new test may help eliminate onchocerciasis, commonly known as river blindness, which is a leading cause of preventable blindness in Africa. The SD BIOLINE Onchocerciasis IgG4 antibody-based test
is manufactured and distributed by Standard Diagnostics, Inc. and designed for use in disease surveillance.


During last night's World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, the batter dropped down a surprise bunt and sprinted to first base. The umpire called him safe and slow motion replay showed he had beaten the throw by mere inches. A good runner will make it from home to first in 5 or 6 seconds so seeing the foot hit the bag before the ball reached the glove was an amazing feat of ocularity.

Credit: Tobyotter via flickr

By: Nala Rogers, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- The spider's iconic leggy shape can abruptly yank our attention, even when we’re focused on something else, according to a new study. Other shapes such as houseflies and hypodermic needles don’t draw our attention in the same way. This suggests that spiders may be hard-wired into our visual systems, helping us avoid a threat that our ancestors faced for millions of years.

We assume that we can see the world around us in sharp detail but our eyes only process a fraction of our surroundings precisely.

In a series of experiments, psychologists at Bielefeld University investigated how the brain fools us into believing that we see in sharp detail. They find that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail.

Its central finding is that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail.


Almost 2 million Americans have an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and about 100,000 are blind from the disease. In AMD, cells in the retina, that layer of tissue in the back of the eye, begin to break down. What was once sharp central vision becomes blurry. 

Taking daily supplements of selenium and/or vitamin E appears to have no significant effect on the development of age-related cataracts in men, according to new findings from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) Eye Endpoints (SEE) Study.  

Some research, including animal studies, has suggested that dietary nutrients can have an effect on the onset and progression of cataracts. Vitamin E and selenium are of particular interest.