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Since she was born, Misty Lovelace struggled with progressively going blind throughout her life. When she was 12, doctors concluded that Misty’s blindness had a genetic cause called Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). For those of you who didn't know, LCA is an eye disorder that mainly afflicts the retina. The retina is the specialized tissue at the back of the eye that recognizes light and color. People with this disorder typically experience severe visual impairment. Although the visual impairment tends to be stable, it could worsen very slowly over time. Fortunately, Jean Bennett and Albert Maguire, a team at the University of Pennsylvania, were testing a potential cure for LCA. The very next day after the surgery, Misty was able to see for the first time in years. After they were home, Misty was in the backyard pool, when she looked up and started to scream. Being a caring mother, she rushed out, with the thought of fear that something was hurting her daughter. Misty was finally able to see the stars.The treatment that Misty was able to undergo, first was performed on a dog named Mercery as well as mice. In Mercery's case, he was born with defective copies of RPE65, the gene affected by LCA, which is crucial for the visual cycle in mammals. This is due to the fact, that when the light hits sensitive pigments in the retina, it launches a series of reactions that make sight possible. For people who have two defective copies of RPE65 aren't able to react to light properly. As time passes, the light-sensing cells, causing the rods and cones die off. Thus creating their vision to disappear. While working with the dogs, scientists altered a small virus that’s harmless to mammals (adeno-associated virus). This virus carries the DNA with normal RPE65. Which they then inject into one eye of each blind dog. Within days, the frightened dogs who once bumped into objects around the house had turned into active, sighted animals.


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