Polyester and Stem Cells Could Cure Blindness
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western world. Scientists estimate that about 15 million people in the US are diagnosed with this disease. The number exceeds 30 million people if take into account the stats we’ve got for the entire globe.
Professor Pete Coffey from London’s University College has started to develop a therapy that will hopefully help blind people see again. During the evolution of AMD, the retinal pigment epithelium, which is a layer of cells that support and nourish the eye’s vision center, is killed. The affected people start to see black spots. As time goes by, the spots enlarge until the entire vision is lost, and the persons can no longer read and recognize faces.
Professor Coffey has worked for 8 years to develop his treatment and method. His first patient was a 60 years old woman who was diagnosed with this disease. Several vessels in the back of her eye have exploded, and thus flooded the retina, which led to her losing sight.
During the surgery, a thin layer of cells was implanted behind the retina, using a polyester patch that was about 0.1 inches wide. Stem cells, which were used for this operation, can transform themselves into many other cell types. The doctor’s hope is that the operated people will once again be able to recognize the faces of their loved ones.
Nine more patients will also be operated; if the procedure proves to be a success, it will be used on a much larger scale, in order to help as many people as possible regain their vision.
Advanced Artificial intelligence
One of Google’s engineers has declared that artificial intelligence will eventually solve the world’s major problems. Deep learning is a key part of modern AI, helping the computers learn from the large amounts of data that are put at their disposal.
Due to higher CPU speeds and performance, multiple algorithms are used to process images, texts and even… yeah, sentiments in a faster, more efficient way. The end purpose is to have a computer which can take decisions just like a human does. The project looked very promising even back in 2012, when it was launched.
Of course, there is still a long way until such performances can be reached. Nevertheless, Google has already integrated its proprietary Brain technology into several new devices. As most of you know, speech recognition technology is already used by people who use Android phones.
Recycling Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide is, at least according to some organizations, the major factor that has led to global warming. Right now scientists are developing new methods that will help recycle the dioxide into something useful. As an example, carbon dioxide can be transformed into a chemical that can be used to make various consumer products.
Carbon dioxide is collected from industrial plants, and then transported through pipes underground, where it is injected. When water and electricity are added to the carbon dioxide, a special chemical is created. This chemical could someday replace the petroleum that’s used to make plastic bottles, carpets, and so on. Since petroleum is not renewable, the new chemical product would help us save it, while also reducing the carbon dioxide emissions.
Huge corporations like The Coca Cola Company are already interested in financing this product, because its success would help them reduce the costs associated with their own products.