Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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World Sight Day Seeing Genes

Genes identified that control the arrangement of cells in the retina

12 October 2018

Seeing Genes

The first interaction we have with the visual world around us is via a thin but distinct layer of cells in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of our eyes. Our brain’s ability to make sense of the visible environment relies on how these retinal cells (purple) and the nerves that connect them (green and red) are organised. For us to see properly, this circuitry must be precisely and accurately ordered. And now researchers have identified 16 genes responsible for controlling this systematic arrangement. These genes also help to ensure retinal cells have a good blood supply, so they can function properly. Since many of these 16 genes are linked to various diseases of the eye, the discovery may even pave the way for new potential therapies to treat retinal diseases.

Today is World Sight Day

Written by Gaëlle Coullon

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