Stem Cells: A Promise of Better Vision

About half a year ago Jonathan, Nerd Trek’s Editor-in-Chief, posted an article detailing cutting-edge technology regarding bionic eyes.  While many of us would like to become living Terminators, we still have a long wait ahead until that technology is available at our local clinics.  In the meantime we still have other ventures in ophthalmology that are more likely to be commonplace within the next 5 years.  The best example of this technology is the study of embryonic stem cells and a small publicly owned/funded company called Advanced Cell Technology. 

I know, I know.  The first mention of ‘stem cells’ and people are thrown into a political and/or religious debate about the use of stem cells.  However, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT or ACTC) is probably the only company that retains immunity from this debate even though it uses embryonic stem cells.  For over a year ACTC has held a proprietary patented procedure called single-blastomere technology.  ACTC is able to remove single stem cells from the embryo instead of using the whole embryo.  Immediately after the procedure is done the embryo begins to regenerate those removed cells and returns to its prior state, still able to be used for fertility purposes.  This patent is also one of the driving reasons ACTC was granted FDA approval in summer of 2011 for Phase I/II clinical trials involving select patients suffering from dry and age-related macular degeneration. 

Below are a few of today’s articles from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times regarding ACTC and their progress.  Keep in mind, this research has a long way to go but there is promise for those hoping to be closer to technology on their side regarding ophthalmology.  By the way, I have held stock in this company for almost 3 years.  And at just below 20 cents a share this is the perfect time to explore ACTC.  So, yes, I am biased.  I can now say that with pride. =-)


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About Manny Garza

After serving 8 years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, Manny departed the military in order to pursue his B.A. in Philosophy from American Military University. Aside from college, he writes short stories and essays in the realm of philosophy and science fiction. Manny's short stories are heavily influenced by who he refers to as The Trinity: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jack Williamson. He is married to his lovely wife, Melissa, and has two dogs named Koopa and Goomba. Aside from being an editor and contributor of Nerd Trek articles, his hobbies include playing guitar, singing, and both tabletop and video game RPGs. Manny currently lives in Charlottesville, VA.