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The mystery of the cataract becomes a little clearer

 

A team of international researchers has made some important advances in understanding the formation mechanisms of cataracts.

 

This type of discovery could help prevent cataracts. “That’s the dream, and this is a big step,” said Rachel Martin, associate professor at University of California at Irvine. “Understanding the molecular mechanism of what goes wrong in the eye that leads to a cataract could lead to the development of better treatment options, including more sophisticated artificial lenses and drugs.”

 

The eyes are able to see clearly due to three types of proteins in the crystalline lens, which maintain transparency by delicately balancing the attraction and rejection of light. The main role of one of these three proteins is to prevent the other two from agglomerating into cataracts when they are modified by a genetic mutation, UV rays or chemical damage.

 

Researchers observed that this protein attaches itself with much more strength to mutated proteins in an effort to keep the crystalline lens clear. However, the human eye contains only a limited amount of this protein. When it disappears, the two other proteins agglomerate rapidly and form cataracts. By demonstrating this mechanism from the molecular point of view, researchers are hopeful that organic chemists might be able to develop treatments to prevent these agglomerations and thus preserve vision.

Source: 

http://eyesmart.com.au/allnews/oaonews/4303-researchers-reveal-groundbreaking-new-findings-on-how-cataracts-form  

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