[ASC-media] Media release: Eyesight in the spotlight

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Thu Jan 21 22:17:19 CET 2010

:: The Vision Centre
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Eyesight in the spotlight

January 22, 2010 – for immediate release

The cutting edge science of how vision works and how we may be able to prevent, repair or restore lost sight in future will be explored at an international scientific meeting in Sydney next week.

The Australian Neuroscience Society Satellite Meeting 2010: “From Photoreceptors to Behaviour” is being held at the Save Sight Institute, 8 Macquarie St, Sydney on January 29 and 30, 2010.

Among the highlights of the meeting:
•	Professor Zhou-Hua Pan of Wayne State University, USA, will describe new efforts to restore sight by adding genes into the adult eye. The hope is that diseases that cause loss of vision cells may be overcome by transforming other cells in the eye which normally carry the vision signal to the brain, into light-sensing cells.
•	Professor Dao-Yi Yu of the Vision Centre and University of WA will describe the latest work on how the retina delivers oxygen to the vision cells in it. Disorders in oxygen supply within the eye are a major cause of blindness. 
•	Professor Silvia Bisti of the Vision Centre and University of L’Aquila will report remarkable progress in the use of the herb saffron to protect and possible restore vision in humans suffering certain degenerative eye conditions.
•	Professor  E J Chichilnisky of the Salk Institute, USA, will report on the latest progress in developing very-high density electrodes, that can pick up the signals from a large number of vision cells in the retina, which is what he's talking about. The research will also go on to explore how to deliver high density electrical pulses, of a type that might be useful in a bionic eye.

The Australian Neuroscience Society Satellite Meeting 2010: “From Photoreceptors to Behaviour” is sponsored by The Vision Centre, which is funded by the Australian Research Council as the ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science. Media are welcome to attend and interview the participants.

More information:
Dr Sam Solomon, the Vision Centre, +61 (0)2 9036 9926
Professor Trevor Lamb, The Vision Centre, ph +61 (0)2 6125 8929 or 0434 022 375
Dorothea Huber, COO, The Vision Centre, ph  +61 (0)2 6125 5398 or 0408 701 309

Full program and speakers list: http://www.physiol.usyd.edu.au/vision2010/

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