Australian researchers are turning skin cells into eye cells to find a way to treat a common form of blindness.
According to figures, age-related macular degeneration that results from dying retinal cells, affects one in seven older Australians and costs the 5.15 billion dollars a year.
The team at Melbourne's Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) takes skin cells from affected patients, turns them into stem cells and then into new retinal cells, Herald Sun reported.
A new charity, the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, has devoted its first investment to the project, bringing Kathryn Davidson, a US stem cell expert, to the centre from Seattle.
Davidson said that stem cell research has lets her team "mimic the disease in a dish," with a view to finding means for better diagnosis and treatment.