Brown Eye Closeup

Could moles hold the key to cure blindness?

Moles have very poor eye sight and are colour blind.  They react to contrasting bright light and darkness.  They are extremely short sighted and some may even have skin covering their eyes.  They are not however blind. 

Their eyes play a vital role in governing their body clock and allowing them to establish the time of day and time of year.  It has recently been discovered that moles have masses of specialised retinal cells for this purpose. 

Dr Colinson of the university of Aberdeen states "there is a type of stem cell in our retinas called the Müller glia that could hold the key to repairing retinas after disease or injury that lead to blindness.  Although these stem cells are asleep and virtually inactive in humans, in moles they are awake and reactivated.  If we could work out how moles do that, we would hold a key to human retinal repair. ” 

 

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