Researchers have reported that totally blind mice have had their sight restored by injections of light-sensing cells into the eye in a new study.
The team from the University of Oxford said that their studies closely resemble the treatments that would be needed in people with degenerative eye disease, the BBC reported.
For the study, the research team used mice with a complete lack of light-sensing photoreceptor cells in their retinas. The mice were unable to tell the difference between light and dark.
They injected "precursor" cells which will develop into the building blocks of a retina once inside the eye. Two weeks after the injections a retina had formed.
According to Prof Robert MacLaren, the researchers recreated the whole structure, which is the first proof that you can take a completely blind mouse, put the cells in and reconstruct the entire light-sensitive layer.
The mice were tested to see if they fled being in a bright area, if their pupils constricted in response to light and had their brain scanned to see if visual information was being processed by the mind.
The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.