Researcher Creates Bionic Eyes

9 years 5 months 1 week ago April 22, 2007 Apr 22, 2007 Sunday, April 22 2007 Sunday, April 22, 2007 9:37:16 PM CDT in News

This Your Health with Angie Bailey shows the results are a lot more real than what you may find in a book.

Like all of the senses most of us are lucky enough to be born with, sometimes we might take sight for granted, until it's gone.

Tom Stevens knows what it's like to see."I jumped out of airplanes and I was a ranger and I spent two years in Vietnam."

This retired lieutenant colonel also knows what it's like to have it taken away.  Like one in 3,500 other people worldwide with retinitis dispigmentosa, Stevens became blind later in life.  But there is hope that new technology could help people like Stevens see.

"A good friend here in town was telling me, we're going to have this thing Tom, it's gonna be a new eyeball. You'll be able to see," said Tom Stevens with the National Federation of the Blind. "We're not, I don't think we're much closer to it today 25 years later."

This new invention isn't quite a new eyeball, but technology is closer. A miniature microchip when implanted in the retina, is helping blind cats see.

"The microchip is replacing the photo receptors specifically, those are the rods and the cones that die in the disease that I'm studying specifically," said MU Veterinary Ophthalmologist Kristina Narfstrom.

The micro-chip is smaller than the dimple in a golf ball, which is only about 2 millimeters wide.  This small part could mean the difference between seeing or not.  MU ophthalmologist Kristina Narfstrom says early trials with humans are promising.

"Very good results were shown in these first surgeries that were done, all had improved vision," said Narfstrom.

But, MU ophthalmologist Dean Hainsworth says the sight people may regain is limited. "Can you see if the light's on or off, can you see a shape or a shadow, can you maybe see the doorway so that you don't bump into it when you're walking through it? But that's the level of vision I'd anticipate that may be possible with something like this," said Hainsworth.

Stevens says he's learning the traditional skills, like using braille and a cane. But he knows the surgery might be an option in the future.

Narfstrom chose to work with cats because they have similar eyes to humans.  This means surgeons can use the same techniques on cats as they do on people.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Family members restrained the father of a missing Missouri woman when the man accused of setting... More >>
2 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 8:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - In honor of the Columbia Public School Foundation's (CPSF) 20th anniversary, it announced a $20,000 grant for Columbia... More >>
2 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival returns for its 10th year Friday to Columbia’s Stephens Lake... More >>
3 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An independent organization revealed its findings Thursday on the abilities of 49 judges throughout the state of... More >>
3 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:02:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Missouri Human Trafficking Task Force discussed its future and long term goals at its second to last... More >>
3 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:44:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD released a full detailed report on a Tuesday night incident in which two black students reported being... More >>
4 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Michael Kreps was sentenced to life in the Missouri Department of Corrections Thursday. Kreps plead guilty... More >>
6 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Lincoln University faculty unanimously passed a vote for no confidence against the provost Wednesday morning, a... More >>
6 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new study put out by WalletHub ranks Missouri as one of the best states for teachers, but... More >>
7 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:59:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – An annual University of Missouri Police Department report shows hate crimes on campus jumped more than 1,000 percent... More >>
8 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Teachers in Columbia say the need for diversity training in schools is made clear by a new study... More >>
8 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:59:00 PM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — A 37-year-old Independence police officer faces charges accusing him of having sex with a 14-year-old girl. ... More >>
8 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:56:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A judge has agreed to allow voters to consider spending money to expand Kansas City streetcar... More >>
8 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:34:48 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Washington University in St. Louis officials say the experience and national attention are benefits of hosting... More >>
9 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:06:07 PM CDT in News
FAUCETT (AP) — Some seniors at a northwest Missouri high school will not be disciplined after making a "humorous" video... More >>
9 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:02:09 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Clergy and social activists are joining a mother in demanding a federal investigation into a 2013... More >>
10 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:29:01 AM CDT in News
MEXICO - A Mexico High School band director was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexual contact with a student. ... More >>
11 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:03:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A local event gave residents of Columbia and surrounding areas the chance to buy children’s items or sell... More >>
11 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
11pm 62°
12am 60°
1am 59°
2am 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
10:00p
The King of Queens
10:30p
The King of Queens
11:00p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld