Genetic Screenings for Color Blindness

The Clinical Testing Laboratories at New Mexico State University will cooperate with the Genevolve Vision Diagnostics Inc. to start genetic screenings for color vision deficiency and to work towards a possible gene therapy to cure color blindness.

Jay Neitz from the Neitz Color Vision Lab could just recently cure some colorblind monkeys and also developed a genetic color vision test. Building upon this basis in this new partnership they want to develop a new standard for color blindness tests and possibly have a breakthrough in curing color deficient patients.

Matt Lemelin, the founder and CEO of Genevolve:

“Our goal is to establish a new world standard for color vision testing and to increase public safety while providing a diagnosis that doctors may discuss with their patients. With this process, we can now diagnose the type of colorblindness and the extent of deficiency with amazing accuracy and precision.”

Lemelin also lists some of the reasons, why such a genetic color blindness test is a need today:

  • Age: Todays color blindness tests often require a minimal age of at least 5 years. This could potentially affect a child’s development.
  • Memorizing: Persons can memorize a test and alter the result. This could be very dangerous for some specific jobs.

I personally believe that a genetic test is only needed because people themselves want to have something fool-prove. A test which tells them the truth about their color vision, which is not influenced by some doctors judgment. Of course a fool-prove test also makes the testers feel more safe. But I don’t really think that the above two statements are true:

  • Children don’t have to be tested much earlier. They can’t grasp the concept of color yet and don’t need special assistance in daily life until they recognize it themselves.
  • Arrangement tests, anomaloscopes and lanterns can’t really be memorized. And even a plates test only needs a shuffle to unmask any potential cheater.

Anyway, the colorblind community is definitely looking forward to get an accurate color vision test which can be used as a standard for many job specific vision tests and as a matter of course a gene therapy to cure color blindness. We will wait patiently for further news…

You can read the whole article from the NMSU here: DNA lab at NMSU partners with company to fight colorblindness. And don’t miss the latest breakthrough in color blindness gene therapy of monkeys.