'Tis the time to be amazed: A 38-year-old man has regained vision in his blind eye thanks to a new stem cell therapy. It won't cure all blind people, but it's a giant leap. Here's how it works.
Englishman Russell Thurnbull got attacked with ammonia 15 years ago during a street fight. As a result, he got an extremely painful condition called Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency, which resulted in blindness in one eye. After much medication, he became a lab rat for all kinds of treatments until a team from Newcastle's North East England Stem Cell Institute got the miraculous cure he was waiting for.
First, the team took a minuscule sample of stem cells from his healthy eye's cornea. This millimetre square of cells was placed on a amniotic membrane, which was placed inside a liquid made from his blood, glucose, insulin and hydrocortisone. The cells will grow in that solution until taking all over the membrane, which then is used to replace the damaged cornea.
The result: He completely gained eyesight after only eight weeks of the operation. It is not Christopher Reeve walking, but if this is not the future ringing the doorbell, right here, right now, I don't know what it is. [Channel 4]