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NEI Research News

Thanks to the work of NEI scientists and grantees, we’re constantly learning new information about the causes and treatment of vision disorders. Get the latest updates about their work — along with other news about NEI.

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16 items
Florescent photo of mouse rod photoreceptor, next to photoreceptor schematic showing cell body, inner and outer segments.

Scientists shine light on how eyes adapt to the dark

October 14, 2022

A basic research study from the National Eye Institute (NEI) explains how the molecule transducin moves within light-sensing rod photoreceptors in mouse retina to help the eye quickly adapt from bright to low light and back.
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3D map reveals DNA organization within human retina cells

October 7, 2022

National Eye Institute researchers mapped the organization of human retinal cell chromatin, the fibers that package 3 billion nucleotide-long DNA molecules into compact structures that fit into chromosomes within each cell’s nucleus.
Kiam Preston

NEI’s Preston teaches, inspires young scientists

September 30, 2022

A graduate student at the National Eye Institute, Preston volunteered this summer as a virtual instructor in the 8-week-long Journal of Emerging Investigators Mini Ph.D. Program.
Retinal organoid with green photoreceptor outer segments.

NIH researchers develop gene therapy for rare ciliopathy

September 8, 2022

Researchers from the National Eye Institute (NEI) have developed a gene therapy that rescues cilia defects in retinal cells affected by a type of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a disease that causes blindness in early childhood.
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NEI researchers discover cellular events that precede neurodegenerative eye disease

April 21, 2022

Molecular and cellular changes in rod photoreceptors are detectable in a mouse model of retinal degeneration several days prior to observable morphological changes, according to researchers at the National Eye Institute.

Researchers use patients’ cells to test gene therapy for rare eye disease

January 28, 2021

Scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have developed a promising gene therapy strategy for a rare disease that causes severe vision loss in childhood.
DNA methylation process

NEI researchers link age-related DNA modifications to susceptibility to eye disease

April 21, 2020

National Eye Institute (NEI) researchers profiling epigenomic changes in light-sensing mouse photoreceptors have a clearer picture of how age-related eye diseases may be linked to age-related changes in the regulation of gene expression.
photoreceptors

Researchers restore sight in mice by turning skin cells into light-sensing eye cells

April 15, 2020

Researchers have discovered a technique for directly reprogramming skin cells into light-sensing rod photoreceptors used for vision. The lab-made rods enabled blind mice to detect light after the cells were transplanted into the animals’ eyes.
Two boys smile at camera. Dark spot in center of image represents vision loss from AMD.

NIH Researchers Hone in on Genes Linked to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

February 11, 2019

National Eye Institute scientists led a collaborative study and zeroed in on genes associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among people age 65 and older.
Image of a mouse retina

NIH scientists deploy CRISPR to preserve photoreceptors in mice

March 14, 2017

Silencing a gene called Nrl in mice prevents the loss of cells from degenerative diseases of the retina, according to a new study. The findings could lead to novel therapies for preventing vision loss from human diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.