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Topics and Guest – December 12, 2015 – Show #2

Show #2

Eye-drop medication for cataracts could erase blindness for millions of people. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2015/11/176886/eye-drops-could-clear-cataracts-using-newly-identified-chemical

A chemical that could potentially be used in eye drops to reverse cataracts, the leading cause of blindness, has been identified by a team of scientists from UC San Francisco (UCSF), the University of Michigan (U-M), and Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL).

Identified as a “priority eye disease” by the World Health Organization, cataracts — caused when the lenses of the eyes lose their transparency — affect more than 20 million people worldwide. Although cataracts can be successfully removed with surgery, this approach is expensive, and most individuals blinded by severe cataracts in developing countries go untreated.

Reported Nov. 5 in Science, the newly identified compound is the first that is soluble enough to potentially form the basis of a practical eye-drop medication for cataracts.