Scientists Grew Bits of Human Eyeballs to Save Help Colorvision

In a lab at Johns Hopkins University, little bits of human eyes are growing in a dish. While growing eye globs is a technical marvel in itself, this creation has a compounded purpose. In a new study published in the journal Science, scientists generated these organoids to understand why we can see color and to learn how to help people who can’t.

When one thinks of an eye, they likely think of the full, bulbous form — the lens, an iris; the vitreous body. These retinal organoids are not that. Technically, they’re retinas grown from human stem cells — globs of the white tissue that lines the very back of the eye.

In the study, published Thursday, Johns Hopkins University graduate student Kiara Eldred and her team reveal why these retinas are so important. Humans have three types of color-detecting cells, cone-shaped photoreceptors that sense red, green, or blue light. But the mechanisms behind why this is haven’t been fully understood. Here, the team discovered that blue cells develop first, then red and green cells later. Learning the timing of these cell formations was a novel finding — and made sense, considering we and other primates have something called trichromatic color vision.  See the rest at

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