Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Mouse Vision Restored

Researchers have restored vision in mice with optic nerve injuries, a step toward possible treatments for glaucoma and other aging-related diseases, Agence France Presse reports.

Senior author David Sinclair from Harvard Medical School and his colleagues report in the journal Nature that ectopic expression of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 (OSK) could coax mouse retinal ganglion cells to revert to the DNA methylation patterns typically observed among younger mice. The OSK genes are three of the four Yamanaka transcription factors that reprogram cultured somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells.

The researchers additionally treated a mouse model of optic nerve damage with the OSK transcription factors to find that the cocktail stimulated axon regeneration. Likewise, in a mouse model of glaucoma, OSK treatment led to increased axonal density and visual acuity. Further, in older mice with other aging-related vision loss, OSK treatment could improve visual acuity among some mice.

According to Nature News, Harvard has licensed the technology to Life Biosciences, which is now conducting preclinical safety tests.

"There are many labs now who are working on this whole concept of reprogramming," Buck Institute for Research on Aging's Judith Campisi tells it. "We should be hopeful but, like everything else, it needs to be repeated and it needs to be extended."

The Scan

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.

Lupus Heterogeneity Highlighted With Single-Cell Transcriptomes

Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers in Nature Communications tracked down immune and non-immune cell differences between discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rare Disease Clues Gleaned From Mobile Element Insertions in Exome Sequences

With an approach called MELT, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics uncovered mobile element insertions in exomes from 3,232 individuals with or without developmental or neurological abnormalities.

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.