Scientists envision growing human eyeballs

Three-eyed Tadpole 

Researchers at the University of Warwick have stumbled on a genetic switch in tadpoles that causes them to grow three eyes–and could conceivably help scientists to someday grow replacement human eyeballs, or at least specific bits of eye tissue, from stem cells. As neuroscientist Nicholas Dale, co-leader of the study, puts it, "If you knew all the genes, and how to turn them on, that you needed to make an eye, you could start with very early embryonic cells and turn on all the right genes and grow an eye in a dish." (Via LiveScience.)

Now there’s an appropriate mental image for the Hallowe’en season… (Image: Masse, K., Bhamra, S., Eason, R., Dale, N. and Jones, E./Nature.)

[tags]stem cells, medicine, biology[/tags]