In what is a major breakthrough, researchers have successfully improved vision in people with blinding eye diseases by transplanting fetal tissue in the eye.
Another experiment showed that retinal prosthesis could also restore some vision in patients with blinding eye disease.
The researchers focussed their study on two degenerative eye diseases retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.
The study led by Dr Robert B. Aramant showed that transplanted "sheets" of fetal retinal cells improve visual acuity in several people with retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.
Researcher Jessy Dorn showed that retinal prosthesis could restore partial vision to people who are totally blind.
The prosthesis was made of an array of electrodes and transmits visual information captured by a video camera.
The researchers also reported that engineered, light-sensitive proteins restored vision in a mouse study of retinitis pigmentosa, something that would lead to new treatments for people with degenerative retinal diseases.
The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2009, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.