Scientists in Seattle have given naturally colorblind monkeys the ability to see in full color by inserting a human gene into the animals' eyes. The dramatic results boost the prospects for gene therapy as a cure for colorblindness and perhaps other vision disorders in people -- even adults.
The findings run contrary to a long-held view that the brain can't readily adapt to new forms of sensory input after a critical period of development during the first months of life.
Male squirrel monkeys are normally red-green colorblind because, like colorblind men, they lack certain light-sensing pigments. The researchers packaged the human gene for a light sensing pigment called L-opsin into a harmless virus and injected trillions of copies of the virus around the retina in the eyes of the monkeys.
About 20 weeks later, the genes began to direct the production of the color-sensing pigment at high levels in cone cells, the tapered, light-sensing cells in the retina. And in daily vision tests, the monkeys gained the ability to pick out red and green objects.
How long before we can get the do this with a gene for tetrachromacy? I want to see into the ultraviolet, dammit!
Edit: Check out this comment on the original article:
Yes, let's continue with genetic therapy. Then we can manufacture the perfect persons, clone them and eventually assist in the genocide of the common human. They will be uni-sex, as no need for reproduction. They'll just grow in incubators. That will put Viagra out of business. Sorry, drug companies. There will be no more medical needs, as every "person" will have no defects.
There needs to be a moral limit to modern science.
Constantly writing about the evil immoral out of control scientists who do things just because they "can" so people think that happens all the time. I've never understood this meme. In all my years in the sciences, I've never seen research/experiments done "just cause they can"..its all for a purpose and usually a pretty good purpose.
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.