Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes loss of central vision in the retina. AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Fortunately, researchers from Yale, MIT, and Harvard have discovered the cellular culprits of this incurable eye disease. The findings could lead to more permanent therapeutics for macular degeneration patients. The research was published in Nature Communications.
“It is the first time the human retinal cells have been sequenced at the single-cell level,” said Brian Hafler, assistant professor of ophthalmology and pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and co-senior author of the study. “We were able to look at each individual retinal cell’s RNA and how the expression of specific genes varies from other cells. We found which cells expressed the known genetic risk factors for macular degeneration. It’s exciting to be able to assign the AMD-associated genes with the specific cell types they act on.”
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“Yale-MIT-Harvard collaboration maps out cellular culprits of blindness”