After two years of testing, a procedure is on the horizon which could restore the sight of millions of people suffering loss of vision due to damaged corneas. A recent study from Canadian and Swedish doctors, using synthetic corneas produced in a lab, showed positive results in line with the standard treatment using corneas from cadavers.
The synthetic corneas are created using collagen, then implanted in the recipient as a platform for the body’s natural cells to attach to. According to the study, nine of the ten patients receiving the corneas demonstrated tissue regeneration, as nerves and cells grew in conjunction with the cornea and became part of the implant.
The current standard treatment of using cadaver corneas presents several problems for doctors, including the possibility of rejection by the recipient’s body. With the synthetic corneas there has been no need for anti-rejection drugs in any of the patients tested. If the procedure makes it to market after the completion of further studies, the synthetic corneas would more than make up for the short supply of cadaver tissue.
According to Marianne O’Connor Price, executive director of the Cornea Research Foundation, more than six million people around the world suffer some sort of corneal damage. In th U.S., roughly 42,000 corneal transplants are performed annually. The same cannot be said for the rest of the world, where cadaver corneas are hard to come by.
A male contraceptive injection could be available in the next five years, according to researchers from UK who are currently conducting clinical trials for the jab. Around 80 couples in Britain are undergoing the year long trial that requires the males to take two injections for every two months, the Daily Mail reported. The injections, which contain both testosterone and a synthetic version of progesterone, reduce the production of sperms and control its maturation. The tests have proved 99 percent effective so far with minimal side-effects such as hot flushes or mood swings.
Lead researcher Professor Richard Anderson said that his team conducted a number of surveys and almost all women revealed that they wanted the burden of family planning to be shared with their partners. “When we carried out surveys of women, they were enormously enthusiastic. The single most common reason was that they wanted to share the responsibility for contraception”, he said. Professor Anderson added that one of the main reasons for women showing their enthusiasm for the research was the fact that some of the contraceptive pills available have been known to cause breast cancer and fatal blood clots. Furthermore a study had revealed that contraceptive methods used by women may in fact reduce sexual satisfaction among them. So if the new jab becomes a reality, then it may be an added bonus for couples as well.