The BrightFocus Foundation has a wonderful post out that describes Yoshinori Ohsumi’s Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded this year. The post covers the work that led up to the Nobel as well as the applications of this work to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) being explored by BrightFocus funded investigator, Debasish Sinha.
The Webvision crew is on our way to Japan for the RD 2016 and ISER 2016 meetings in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan as we speak. We are promoting the hashtags #RD2016 and #ISER2016 for the meetings. If you want to meet to talk or arrange to have your work featured on Webvision, be sure to ping us at @webvision1 or @BWJones on Twitter before/during the meetings.
We’ve linked to posts before about what it looks like to people who are colorblind complete with animated gifs, but there is a new resource of gifs from the U.K.’s Clinic Compare that have a more film like quality and include a wider variety of color blindness forms. We include a number of them below including green-blind/Deuteranopia, blue cone monochromacy, red-weak protanomaly, blue-blind/tritanomaly, green-weak deuteranomaly, monochromacy/acrhomatopsia, red-blind protanopia, and red-weak protanomaly.
gifs are rather large, so give them time to upload.
ht: @boingboing for the link.
Glaucoma is the main cause of irreversible blindness in the world. In most common types of the disease, the optic nerve is damaged by an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) which blocks fluid drainage through canals in the eye. There is currently no cure, however, the disease can be treated by lowering IOP. Unfortunately, all IOP-lowering drugs that in the market today target the secondary drainage pathway which mediates only 5-15% of fluid outflow. Therefore, the main goal in glaucoma research has been to identify targets in the primary outflow pathway mediated through the trabecular meshwork tissue. David Krizaj’s group at the Moran Eye Institute (University of Utah School of Medicine) has done just that.
In a paper just published in Scientific Reports, they identify TRPV4, a mechanosensitive ion channel, as the main trabecular target of increased IOP. This highly collaborative project combined genetic, molecular, whole animal approaches with bioengineered nanoscaffold models of glaucoma and drug discovery to show that activation of the channel mimics the trabecular changes in glaucoma whereas elimination of the TRPV4 gene or systemic exposure to TRPV4 inhibitors protected mice from the disease. In collaboration with Glenn Prestwich’s group in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Utah, the team synthesized new eye drops which lowered IOP to levels seen in control mice. By targeting the primary outflow pathway, this study promises to bring new, effective cures that complement current glaucoma treatment. The primary authors of the study are Dr. Dan Ryskamp, Amber Frye and Dr. Tam Phuong.
Please Touch The Art is a short film about Andrew Myers, an artist who creates tactile art for the blind and visually impaired. Andrew got his start producing the art as a surprise for his friend George Wurzel and has continued to work in the medium designed to help the blind and low vision community participate in the art experience.
Hat tip to Lori Dorn of Laughing Squid for this post.
We are off to ARVO 2016 in Seattle, Washington to participate in the largest gathering of vision scientists and ophthalmologists in the world. It’s the annual meeting of researchers and clinicians presenting and discussing all things vision and ophthalmology.
If you are going to be at ARVO and want to meet up, leave us a comment here or send a Tweet to @Webvision1 and if you are on Twitter, be sure to use the #ARVO2016.
Look forward to seeing you there.
This is a fun and pretty accurate Youtube video on how different animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) visually process the world. There is so much to learn from the evolution of the eye and we here on Webvision are always happy to see basic science and the science of vision being communicated to the wider public.
There is an excellent editorial in the 25 March 2016 edition of Science Magazine from Francis Collins et. al. re-stating the NIH position on support for basic science. This is important for anyone applying to the NIH for grants as well as those reviewing NIH grants as the central question should be: “How much will the proposed work advance understanding and progress in the field?”.
The University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences invites applications for a full-time position at the level of Assistant/Associate Professor (commensurate w/experience) in the field of visual system function and or/disease. Successful candidates are expected to establish a strong research program funded by federal sources (NIH, NSF), to strengthen the current research carried out at the Moran Eye Institute as well as bring new areas of research into focus.
There is a new publication out in the Journal of Neuroscience (cover story) from Moran Eye Center scientists, Store-Operated Calcium Entry In Müller Glia Is Controlled By Synergistic Activation Of TRPC And Orai Channels authored by Tünde Molnár, Oleg Yarishkin, Peter Barabas, Anthony Iuso, Bryan William Jones, Robert Marc, Tam Phuong, and David Krizaj.
There is a new Explorer special based on an article in the latest issue of National Geographic with Michael Stevens (@tweetsauce), Unlocking The Eyes that is well worth checking out. In the video above, Michael interviews Marty Banks and William Sprague about why many prey animals like goats have the eye anatomy they do. i.e., why are their eyes have horizontal pupils and why their eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads?
This short video features the art of Steven Erra, a photographer who is losing his vision due to a retinal degenerative disease, yet is generating beautiful work by light painting. Steven is a member of The Seeing With Photography Collective, a group of sight impaired artists who are making waves in the art world through their imagery and inspiring the work of both sighted and non-sighted photographers alike.
There is a short video from National Geographic that is a companion to an article by Ed Yong (@edyong209) in National Geographic here. The photography is wonderful as is typical of National Geographic and is well worth your time.
For a more detailed read on the evolution of vision, be sure to check out this Webvision chapter by Trevor Lamb, Evolution of Phototransduction, Vertebrate Photoreceptors and Retina.
George RedHawk is a legally blind artist who’s medium is animated gifs and his work is truly stunning. There is a really interesting portfolio of his work on Graphic Art News as well as some background on how he manages to create these amazing works here. In short, he uses photo morphing software to morph one image into another, then he makes animated gifs. Check out his website for more work from his portfolio of on-going works titled “The World Through My Eyes” here.
The extinct Neanderthals had orbital eye sockets that are much larger than ours. Recently, there has been an discussion covered in a fascinating article linked the other day on the BBC discussing the large orbital eye sockets of the Neanderthals and whether these eye represented a reason for the Neanderthals’ demise or not.
Helga Kolb noticed an interesting discussion about this from two other pioneers of vision research, Bill Stell and Clyde Oyster his resulted in some interesting commentary between them on their Facebook accounts. Continue reading “The Mystery of Neanderthal Large Eyes”