Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pioneers In Field Of Functional Genomics Work Toward Gene Therapy For Vision Defects

Date:
December 20, 2006
Source:
Medical College of Wisconsin
Summary:
For millennia anglers have wondered how fish see colors, and the rainbow of lures in every bait shop reveal that we're still guessing. But, in fish, reptiles and birds, that's all we can do for now, according to husband and wife vision researchers, Drs. Jay and Maureen Neitz at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

For millennia anglers have wondered how fish see colors, and the rainbow of lures in every bait shop reveal that we're still guessing. But, in fish, reptiles and birds, that's all we can do for now, according to husband and wife vision researchers, Drs. Jay and Maureen Neitz at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

"Primates and humans have three photoreceptors and can only see four basic colors, red, green, blue and yellow," says Jay Neitz, Ph.D. "Birds, fish and reptiles have four photoreceptors, allowing them to see things we cannot. They must see an entire dimension of color, including ultraviolet, infrared and all the combinations thereof, which we miss."

He is the R.D. and Linda Peters Professor in Ophthalmology at the Medical College. Maureen E. Neitz, Ph.D., is the Richard O. Schultz/Ruth Works Professor in Ophthalmology Research.

Two of the world's leading color vision researchers, the Neitzes are also pioneers in the field of functional genomics. Their studies of human color vision have not only identified the genes responsible for colorblindness, but also defined one of the first examples of a nervous system defect for which a person's DNA can predict both the occurrence and the severity of the disorder.

"This has been an important breakthrough, because as scientists strive to understand the genetic basis of human disease, more than merely revealing the presence of a genetic defect, it is also important to forecast the severity of the impairment," says Dr. Maureen Neitz.

They are currently studying gene therapy at the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute to evaluate the plasticity of the adult human visual system. Gene therapy has been demonstrated to correct deficits in the retina, but the major unanswered question is whether the brain can interpret new information it receives from the therapeutically-treated retina to restore vision. For humans to migrate around objects in their world requires that information about objects be transmitted from the retina to the brain, and that the brain recreate an image of the world.

Their color vision research has also provided them with unique opportunities to discover the steps in the causal chain from the gene, to protein function, to neural signal. They are applying these lessons to other genetic defects that cause visual impairment.

"We anticipate that our studies of the basic mechanisms controlling gene expression in the retina, and the structure/functional relationships among proteins involved in signal transduction, may lead to development of new methods for early diagnosis of retinal disorders, and ultimately extend our knowledge of the role genes play in construction of the nervous system," she says.

The Neitzes are currently conducting several research studies involving human subjects including a study of color vision and a study of how eye growth is controlled to cause nearsightedness. To learn more about these studies, interested participants can call (414) 456 2056.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Wisconsin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Wisconsin. "Pioneers In Field Of Functional Genomics Work Toward Gene Therapy For Vision Defects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061211220859.htm>.
Medical College of Wisconsin. (2006, December 20). Pioneers In Field Of Functional Genomics Work Toward Gene Therapy For Vision Defects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061211220859.htm
Medical College of Wisconsin. "Pioneers In Field Of Functional Genomics Work Toward Gene Therapy For Vision Defects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061211220859.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins