Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Giving Sight to the Blind

Most of us know someone who's losing his or her sight because of macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, or some other degenerative retinal condition. Thus, this report comes as wonderful news. Scientists are optimistic that a prosthesis may be available in a few years that will allow people with deteriorated retinas to see:
Blind mice had their vision restored with a device that helped diseased retinas send signals to the brain, according to a study that may lead to new prosthetic technology for millions of sight-impaired people.

Current devices are limited in the aid they provide to people with degenerative diseases of the retina, the part of the eye that converts light into electrical impulses to the brain. In research described today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists cracked the code the retina uses to communicate with the brain.

Blind mice had their vision restored with a device that helped diseased retinas send signals to the brain.

The technology moves prosthetics beyond bright light and high-contrast recognition and may be adopted for human use within a year or two, said Sheila Nirenberg, a neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and the study’s lead author.

“What this shows is that we have the essential ingredients to make a very effective prosthetic,” Nirenberg said.
The article goes on to say that "No foreseeable barriers should stop the movement into humans now that the technology has been created." Read the rest at the link.

Ryan's Plan

The liberal talk shows are in something of a frenzy trying to find some way to convince viewers that if Mitt Romney isn't a satanic incubus, a felon, a murderer of men's wives, then maybe Paul Ryan is.

Rather than let the progressives define Paul Ryan and what his vision for America might be, maybe we should let him do it himself. Here are three short videos in which he lays out the problems we face and his solutions.

Here he discusses the debt crisis:
In this video he outlines his plan for Medicare:
One of the things he's been getting hammered on is the charge that he wants to reduce taxes for the wealthy. He does indeed want to lower taxes to make the U.S. more competitive worldwide. Here's his argument:
Some on the left, of course, realize that Ryan is a very compelling, intelligent candidate and that they have no argument or plan to put up against him, at least not one that's both truthful and persuasive, so the best thing to do is to prevent him from being heard. It's how fascists have been doing it ever since the 1930s:
It needs be said that Ryan is not at the top of the ticket. The policies that a President Romney proposes to Congress will be his, and he certainly differs from Ryan on some details. Even so, they're united in believing that nothing will get fixed and will only continue to get worse if we reelect the incumbent.