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Manís vision gives insight on seeing - Blind for 43 years Michael May can see again.
Associated Press ^ | 08/25/03 | Staff Writer

Posted on 08/25/2003 10:04:44 AM PDT by bedolido

After 43 years of blindness, Michael May can see again.

HE CAN play soccer with his sons, enjoy movies and, for the first time, gaze on the Sierra Nevada slopes he has expertly skied — sightless — since the late 1970s.

But May can’t recognize his sons, Carson, 11, and Wyndham, 9, by their faces alone. The same goes for identifying Jennifer, his wife of 15 years.

People “can’t fathom that,” said May, who owns a company in Davis, Calif., that makes navigational software for the blind.

Three years after surgery restored sight to May’s right eye, researchers say May’s case shows how vision is more than just eye function. Blindness has long-term effects on how the brain processes information and constructs one’s view of the world.

May lost his sight to a chemical explosion when he was 3½ years old. He eventually lost his left eye and remained blind in his right until the surgery in 2000.

But testing since that surgery has showed that May’s ability to interpret what he sees through his good eye is decidedly mixed, said Ione Fine, lead author of a study appearing in the September issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

May can identify simple shapes and colors. He can interpret objects in motion. He can spy faraway peaks. He marvels at the vibrancy of plants and flowers unseen since he lost his vision.

But three-dimensional perception and the ability to recognize complex objects such as the faces of family and friends remain severely impaired. He strains to tell the difference between a man and a woman. He describes a cube as a square with extra lines.

FEW PEOPLE REACQUIRED VISION

Written history mentions perhaps 30 people who reacquired vision after protracted periods of blindness, said Fine, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego. She and her colleagues leapt at the chance to study May and began testing him just months after his cornea- and stem cell-implant surgery. The stem cells formed a protective layer over his new cornea to prevent clouding.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blindness; gives; insight; mans; restored; seeing; sight; vision
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1 posted on 08/25/2003 10:04:44 AM PDT by bedolido
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To: bedolido
Amazing.
2 posted on 08/25/2003 10:08:44 AM PDT by jjm2111
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To: bedolido
Testament to GOD, the engineer.
3 posted on 08/25/2003 10:17:17 AM PDT by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: bedolido
My 10-month old niece was born both blind and deaf. It devastated my brother and his wife. But just a couple of weeks ago they gave the baby a cochlear implant, and she hears great now, its utterly amazing to see the look on her face when she listens to music for the first time after months of silence. I keep telling my brother to have hope. When we were kids, we watched a fiction show on TV about the Bionic Man...now 20 years later, he's got a bionic kid for real. In 20 years, I have no doubt that technology and medical advances will routinely be able to help the blind to see.
4 posted on 08/25/2003 10:19:55 AM PDT by egarvue (Martin Sheen is not my president...)
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To: bedolido
The stem cells formed a protective layer over his new cornea to prevent clouding.

I'm sure some people here would rip the stem cells off of his eyes if they could =) Just an observation.

5 posted on 08/25/2003 10:25:22 AM PDT by SengirV
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To: SengirV
What a bitter little person you must be, to mischaracterize fellow Freepers with such vague dissonance! The stem cells may come from many other sources than embryonic or fetal individuals. Want to try again?
6 posted on 08/25/2003 10:34:04 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: egarvue
I can't remember the last time I read a post that touched me as much as yours. What a miracle!

So happy for you and your family and I also believe that one day, medical technology will be there for her to "see".

Regards, sw

7 posted on 08/25/2003 10:40:14 AM PDT by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: taxcontrol
Testament to GOD, the engineer.

What? It was surgeons that restored his sight. Human beings, applying reason and understanding, not blind faith in the supernatural.

8 posted on 08/25/2003 10:43:54 AM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: Gunslingr3
You must be in need of an operation ... blindness of the soul !
9 posted on 08/25/2003 10:46:31 AM PDT by f.Christian (evolution vs intelligent design ... science3000 ... designeduniverse.com --- * architecture * !)
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To: Gunslingr3
Ohh the opportunity for puns - don't worry, I'll restrain myself.

The testament is that dispite the most cutting edge surgery, dispite all the advances of man, even our best is but foolishness when viewed against GOD's design.

By "restoring" this mans sight, even the most learned now must consider that GOD's work, the brain and how it adapts to life, is far superior to their clumsy technology.
10 posted on 08/25/2003 10:53:08 AM PDT by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: taxcontrol
Testament to GOD, the engineer.

Huh? His brain isn't processing the recovered sight very well. What kind of testament is that?

11 posted on 08/25/2003 10:54:27 AM PDT by jlogajan
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To: jlogajan
So if it doesn't work out perfectly, then of course it is God's fault...I see. ~yawn~
12 posted on 08/25/2003 10:56:32 AM PDT by =Intervention= (Moderatism is the most lackluster battle-cry.)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: MHGinTN
The stem cells may come from many other sources than embryonic or fetal individuals.

And probably did or the newsies would be shouting this from the rooftops. They have little interest in curing blindness, only in promoting abortion does their blood stir.

14 posted on 08/25/2003 10:56:35 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: bedolido
but does he LIKE what he sees?
15 posted on 08/25/2003 10:56:59 AM PDT by dogbrain ("Life is hard son. It's harder if you're stupid.")
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To: dogbrain
Apparently, he saw a picture of Helen Thomas and immediately asked to be blind again.
16 posted on 08/25/2003 10:59:32 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
Apparently, he saw a picture of Helen Thomas and immediately asked to be blind again.

lol... my first thought was... the first time he saw his wife... I'm sure his love only grew for her

17 posted on 08/25/2003 11:01:29 AM PDT by bedolido (My wife is a sex object - every time I ask for sex, she objects.)
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To: dfwgator
He's going to have to learn to read all over again.
18 posted on 08/25/2003 11:01:45 AM PDT by dogbrain ("Life is hard son. It's harder if you're stupid.")
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To: bedolido
"He strains to tell the difference between a man and a woman."

So, he's been watching Jerry Springer, huh?

19 posted on 08/25/2003 11:03:12 AM PDT by Hatteras (dang,.......... that durn tag's.......... around here,...................... somewhere......)
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To: kafir
"...stay out of the way of the stem-cell research which enabled this man to regain his vision..."
Maybe you'd like some nice lamps with the shades made out of "human" skin. After all, Germany's greatest scientists proved that the Jews weren't really human, so it's not like a real person was hurt or anything.

I fear for the time when people like you are in the majority. You haven't learned a thing from the lessons of 60 years ago.

Oh, and it has nothing to do with religion, as you imagine. There are many pro-life atheists because they recognize basic truths that you don't.


20 posted on 08/25/2003 11:03:26 AM PDT by DallasMike
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