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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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To: =Intervention=
So if it doesn't work out perfectly, then of course it is God's fault...I see. ~yawn~

Once again, how is this testament to God?

21 posted on 08/25/2003 11:03:43 AM PDT by jlogajan
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To: Hatteras
"He strains to tell the difference between a man and a woman."

lol... If he lives close to San Francisco he's in real trouble.

22 posted on 08/25/2003 11:05:31 AM PDT by bedolido (My wife is a sex object - every time I ask for sex, she objects.)
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To: jlogajan
A testament can be provided either by positive or by negative. You are focusing on the negative. I chose to realize that GOD the engineer has design an excellent tool (the brain)

And further recognize that when we humans muck up the design (the article did mention a chemical explosition) and the stumble around and try to fix it, we still do not come anywhere near close to the original.

What a wonderful container for our souls GOD has created.
23 posted on 08/25/2003 11:09:05 AM PDT by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Nettie
"...lost his sight to a chemical explosion when he was 3½ years old."

Well call me slow, I couldn't read at 3-1/2.

25 posted on 08/25/2003 11:22:35 AM PDT by dogbrain ("Life is hard son. It's harder if you're stupid.")
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To: bedolido
"lol... If he lives close to San Francisco he's in real trouble."

Well, I'm not dumb but I can't understand
why she walk like a woman but talk like a man
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola...

26 posted on 08/25/2003 11:25:05 AM PDT by Hatteras (dang,.......... that durn tag's.......... around here,...................... somewhere......)
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To: Nettie
Does he have to close his eye now to read braille? Suddenly, those dots get a little confusing...
27 posted on 08/25/2003 11:27:28 AM PDT by Hatteras (dang,.......... that durn tag's.......... around here,...................... somewhere......)
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To: kafir
Is this thread full of DU members?
28 posted on 08/25/2003 11:29:46 AM PDT by saminfl
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To: kafir
Besides, who cares if someone wants to eschew the intellect in favor of ancient mythology - as long as they keep it out of our courthouses and stay out of the way of the stem-cell research which enabled this man to regain his vision.

I have to admit to getting angry when their irrationality results in this: Autistic Boy Dies at Wis. Prayer Service

29 posted on 08/25/2003 11:36:54 AM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: saminfl
Is this thread full of DU members?

Not unless freeper user ID "Concerned about politics" is posting here (actual DU member currently posing as a freeper since May 8, 2001.)

30 posted on 08/25/2003 11:51:01 AM PDT by bedolido (My wife is a sex object - every time I ask for sex, she objects.)
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To: kafir
I agree with part of what you said. "who cares" (ok I agree with two words and the general meaning of those words)

I am not a religious person. I do not have faith in a supernatural being. I view religions to be illogical simply because they replace reason with faith.

That being said, I know right from wrong. I do not mind that the commandments are there. I would not care if my sons football team said a prayer before every game. I wouldn’t have a stroke if my daughters school choir sang some of the beautiful yet deeply religious songs.

As long as the message is in agreement with my values I could care less if others believe a supernatural being is the creator. Actually I find it quite charming and almost wish I had been blessed with faith. I know I wouldn’t have the worries and weight on my shoulders that I currently do.

As far as the argument of separation of church and state... That is so much B.S. The founders of this nation didn’t want CONGRESS creating any laws that established a national religion or writing any laws that restricted the free exercise of religion. As long as CONGRESS doesn’t do either one of these I have no problem with what people do in there own homes, towns, counties and states. That includes local, state and federal government buildings. If that means that there is christian stuff at all the courthouses in a certain area or catholic stuff in an other... SO WHAT? As long as the constitution and constitutional laws ( written by CONGRESS not judges to the letter of the CONSTITUTION not what some judge thinks it should mean TODAY) are followed I just don’t see a damn problem.

People feel left out the problem? So damn what?! this isn’t kindergarten. If you worship chicken sh!t your probably going to feel left out. If you believe that you can please your god by never washing your clothes or bathing, your going to feel VERY left out. Again, so F---ing what?! If you feel that the infidels must bow down before allah or die, then you will have company ( in the form of some bad ass dudes with guns who want to ask you some questions). That’s fine with me too.

There is no right to be included outside of grade school. There is no right not to be spiritually or otherwise offended.
There is no law that says you must be able to understand the concepts of individual freedom and liberty. I just hope that there are not too many people that believe the way you do.
31 posted on 08/25/2003 11:55:36 AM PDT by myself6
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To: bedolido; egarvue
The brain is an amazing parallel processor. With time, this guy's visual processing might kick in again.

Relearning to use a sense that had died is a long process that cannot be rushed. I have a cochlear implant and am one of the fortunate majority of implantees who can use a phone, but it took me some months of immersing myself in sound. I'd drive around with Rush Limbaugh playing on the radio and not have a clue, but eventually one day it snapped into focus, and I've been a radio news junkie ever since.

So my advice to this guy is to never say never.
32 posted on 08/25/2003 12:08:33 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast
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To: jlogajan
God made the trees
God made the lakes
God made Gephardt...
We all make mistakes.
33 posted on 08/25/2003 12:51:21 PM PDT by babble-on
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To: MHGinTN
What a bitter little person you must be

Not at all. Like I said, it was just an observation. I did not say all, and I agree that there are other sources. It's just that some here would turn their backs on all of the research because of one source. Don't forget, God says it's OK to have slaves, as long as you are nice to them =) Just something to think about.

34 posted on 08/25/2003 12:53:05 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: SengirV
What brought that stupid remark on?
35 posted on 08/25/2003 12:53:06 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: billhilly
I bring that up for many reasons. Something that is abhorrent to us today is mentioned in perfectly acceptable terms in the bible time and time again(don't take it literally, but as an example of twisted logic based on the times). I'm just saying that line of reasearch should not be thrown away when it shows such great promise(in this case it makes the blind see). It's true that the primary source is unacceptable, but do not turn your back on it if at all possible. Which is a counter position to a number of freepers.
36 posted on 08/25/2003 1:06:37 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: egarvue
unfortunatly there are no documented cases of people being blind from birth recovering site.... I may be wrong but I read that..... except the few that the nazarine healed.
37 posted on 08/25/2003 1:12:49 PM PDT by Walkingfeather (C)
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To: =Intervention=
So if it doesn't work out perfectly, then of course it is God's fault...I see. ~yawn~

Yes, I agree. Its also just as illogical and tiresome stating that everything good can be credited to god, and everything bad to man or the devil.

38 posted on 08/25/2003 1:13:01 PM PDT by rmmcdaniell
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To: SengirV
I'm sure some people here would rip the stem cells off of his eyes if they could =) Just an observation.

If it were my eyes, and I knew that a person's life was taken to give me vison, I would refuse it. My eyesight is not worth another's life. Especially knowing it is an excuse to justify mass murder of innocents.

However, haven't you heard of Adult Stem Cells? They acutally work better because they come from the body of the donor.

39 posted on 08/25/2003 1:32:27 PM PDT by Only1choice____Freedom (If everything you experienced, believed, lived was a lie, would you want to know the truth?)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Nettie
sorry, I'm chasing my tail, so to speak.

I thought you were being sarcastic.

Seriously, I wonder if there are any blind FReepers, and if so, how to they FReep?

I know there are plenty of dense ones....

41 posted on 08/25/2003 1:50:35 PM PDT by dogbrain ("Life is hard son. It's harder if you're stupid.")
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To: Walkingfeather
You are correct, but that may be a thing of the past. My niece is seeing researchers in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts who are working on, get this, eye drops that repair damaged rods and cones in the retina. They've been successful in lab tests and animals, and now have FDA approval for tests on people. You're right in cases of damage to the optic nerve, but many who are blind from birth have just damaged retinas (like my niece).

If one has a functioning optic nerve, they are already developing microchip technology that will rest on the back of the eye and act as a prosthetic retina, they've already done it, saw it on Discovery a while back. The image they can get is only a 9 pixel (3x3 grid) image, but once the transmission method is good, they can always increase the complexity of the pixel grid. My digital camera from just a year ago is already outdated in the amount of megapixels that it can receive; I have no doubt that these "eye chips" will also increase in resolution. Just think of how far technology came in just the last decade; we can't even begin to imagine what kinds of new tech will be there in 18 years when my niece graduates from high school.

Also, don't forget demographics; the baby boom generation is getting older, and billions of dollars will be poured into the medical establishment and medical research because of it. If you thought the WWII generation spent money on medical care (and thereby fueling medical research), you haven't seen anything like what their kids are going to spend.
42 posted on 08/25/2003 1:55:29 PM PDT by egarvue (Martin Sheen is not my president...)
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To: egarvue
"...eye drops that repair damaged rods and cones in the retina..."

THAT would be nice, since both of my retinas have fallen off at one time or another.

43 posted on 08/25/2003 2:26:27 PM PDT by dogbrain ("Life is hard son. It's harder if you're stupid.")
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To: SengirV
Nobody has said these were from fetal tissue. Most (or is it all) of the breakthroughs to date have been from adult stem cells. The President didn't stop embryonic stem cell research either. He won't fund new research that derives its cells from new fetuses. As a former fetus, I applaud his decision. Work can still continue with cell lines that have already been extracted. You won't believe it if you've been infected with Washington, DC fever but it's also possible for research to continue without the federal government funding it. The President consulted leading ethicists and scientists before arriving at his decision. He did not do so lightly. It's wrong to suggest that people here did so either.

Personally, I'm getting tired of the President's supporters being characterized as blindly following him. To me, his opponents have flat out stated they intend to oppose him everywhere. They never qualify that by saying they'll oppose him everytime he's wrong. They are the knee-jerk reactionaries (knee optional).

44 posted on 08/25/2003 2:49:31 PM PDT by Dilbert56
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Nettie
"I don't think they're on fr..."

Don't you think they should be? ;^)

46 posted on 08/25/2003 3:07:18 PM PDT by dogbrain ("Life is hard son. It's harder if you're stupid.")
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To: SengirV
I have read and re-read your post, the full article, and your answer to me and still fail to understand your post. Are you suggesting that freerepublic posters are opposed to medical science?

I am personally blind in one eye, a fairly recent situation involving many serious surgeries. I would have welcomed God's intervention, and indeed, it may have happened and I failed to recognize it. At any rate, my retina continued to detach after all procedures failed. Many months of recovery, most of it face down, gave me lots of time to reflect.

Guess what? At my advanced age of 65 I am grateful that I enjoyed good vision that long, and I have to believe I owe it to the designer of mankind, the most advanced scientific success ever undertaken, and may I add, not to be duplicated, in my opinion. Already I am convinced that it can't be done in a day or a week.
47 posted on 08/25/2003 3:24:54 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: billhilly
I have read and re-read your post, the full article, and your answer to me and still fail to understand your post. Are you suggesting that freerepublic posters are opposed to medical science?

Some != all. I pointed out an example of a topic in the bible(slavery) that God himself gave a thumbs up to. Kinda wacky? Huh? There are SOME posters here who would assume to judge in place of God with respect to Stem Cell research. Yes, I know about adult stem cells and that research is lacking because SOME posters oppose ANY research where the words 'Stem' and 'Cell' appear.

I don't know how to spell it out any simpler. If you can't compare/contrast the two, then I can not help you any more.

48 posted on 08/25/2003 4:17:43 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: SengirV
"I don't know how to spell it out any simpler. If you can't compare/contrast the two, then I can not help you any more."

Don't get the impression that you have helped me, and for God's sake, I don't expect you to help me "anymore."

I do hope you understand what quotation marks mean.
49 posted on 08/25/2003 5:49:37 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: egarvue
I have no doubt the technology will be there to see, but that is not the problem. The problem is the neuro pathways that are developed in the brain. You can send a visual signal to the brain but if the pathways are not their ( blind from birth) the signal means nothing.
Even children born a few months old that have lost their sight do to disease or accident if through transplant can regain their sight because the brain has has that kind of stumulus.
I could be wrong here but I think that is the issue here, there is no way to restart or create new paths if their werent any. Like the article says... the guy can not distinguish between man woman, and some shapes.... that is not a sight issue it is an intereptation issue. I pray that i am wrong
50 posted on 08/25/2003 9:19:24 PM PDT by Walkingfeather
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