Blind mice get new vision

Tom Cruise spends a lot of time in the film, "Minority Report," using his eyes to open locked doors, trigger police scanners, and incite talking advertisements.

It's a great gimmick when his old eyes roll across the floor and almost escape. In his futuristic world, the eyes aren't the mirror to the soul -- they're the device that lets cops and marketers alike track humans.

But transplantation of eye cells may someday be real and cure blindness, reports the Washington Post in "Cell Transplants Restore Sight in Blind Mice:"

"Blind mice regained some ability to see after getting transplants of cells taken from the eyes of other mice, strengthening the prospect that it may someday be possible to restore vision in some people who have lost most or all of their eyesight, scientists reported yesterday....

"The new study showed for the first time that light-detecting retina cells -- which in this case were taken from other animals but which scientists have begun to grow from human embryonic stem cells -- can orient themselves properly after being injected into a blind eye, connect to other nerve cells and communicate appropriately with visual centers in the brain."

In addition to long-lasting medical research benefits, the new technology will change art and popular culture, too. For one, we'll no longer be able to sing, "Three Blind Mice."

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law, with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is also President of the the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine, also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society. The Institute serves as a reliable forum for investigation and recommendations regarding the legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care.

The most recent book written by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary and alternative medicine and related fields is an interdisciplinary collection of essays entitled, Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, begun with Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998).