The Way to Cure Color Blindness?

As for today there is no known treatment to cure color blindness but maybe in the near future there will be some possibilities to overcome color blindness and even enhance color vision overall.

Colorblind Mouse

Colorblind Mouse by Beige Alert

Researchers from the University of California and the Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore showed in a series of experiments, how the color vision abilities of mice can be enhanced. Mice have naturally only dichromatic vision which can be compared to red-green color blindness. Dichromatic means, they have only two different types of color receptors in their eyes whereas humans normally have three different types which make up our color vision.

The scientists “pimped” the mice in their experiments with the missing genes for color perception which they took from humans. And those mice performed much better in the test setup as their dichromatic colleagues. This led to the assumption that the enhanced mice have a better (trichromatic) color vision.

Other researchers have also shown that they could cure color blindness in monkeys through injections of the missing color receptor genes.

What can we learn from this?

  • Color Blindness can be cured or at least it could be cured in about 6 cases of mice and monkeys so far.
  • We are on the way of the perfect human being and don’t even forget to exterminate color blindness on that way.
  • You won’t experience the cure of color blindness because this are only the first steps from a very long way.

If you are looking for a treatment of color blindness you still need to wait quite a while. And in case you can’t wait—hope dies last.

The Washington Post published an article about this research last week called Mice See New Hue With Added Gene. The original work was published in the science magazine: Emergence of Novel Color Vision in Mice Engineered to Express a Human Cone Photopigment.

Also read more about some newer scientific results on the cure of color-blind monkeys by gene therapy.