U-W scientists use stem cells to treat damaged mouse retinas - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U-W scientists use stem cells to treat damaged mouse retinas

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SEATTLE (AP) -

University of Washington scientists say they've used human stem cells to treat diseased retinas in mice -- a promising development that could lead to such treatments for people.

If experiments at the U-W and other institutions continue to be successful, the first human trials could begin in about two years.

Deterioration of the retina -- called macular degeneration -- affects about 10 million people in the U-S and is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. The U-W's experiment used embryonic stem cells from a line existing before August 2001, when President Bush prohibited federal funding of research on additional cell lines.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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