Bioengineering: An Eye for an Eye

It sounds like science fiction: scientists take cells from a damaged eye, grow them in a dish, put them back in place and restore a patient's eyesight. But this is fact, not fiction, and vision was restored not just to one person but to dozens of blind or nearly blind patients in Taiwan and the U.S.

The eye operations, reported by two separate research teams in last week's New England Journal of Medicine and the July issue of Cornea, represent the most dramatic successes to date of so-called stem-cell bioengineering--using the body's own master cells to make replacement tissue. Doctors have...

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