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Older Corneas are Suitable for Transplantation, Study Shows PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Monday, 14 April 2008
Patients and surgeons at the University of Rochester Eye Institute participated in a study indicating that corneal transplants using tissue from older donors have similar rates of survival to those using tissue from younger donors.

The five-year transplant success rate for recipients was the same – 86 percent – for transplants performed across the nation with corneas from donors age 12 to 65 years and from donors age 66 to 75. Because of this new finding, the donor age pool – currently limited to donors 65 and younger –should be expanded to include donors up to 75 years of age, according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and published in the April issue of Ophthalmology.

Source: University of Rochester Eye Institute
Research Could Lead to Cataract Treatment Breakthrough PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Friday, 11 April 2008
Research by University of Ulster academic Professor Barbara Pierscionek could lead to a major breakthrough in the treatment of cataracts - a leading cause of sight problems and one of the most common forms of blindness in the world.

Professor Pierscionek, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Ulster explains that this is largely because the changes in the proteins within the lens that lead to cataract formation are unknown, although recent advances in nanotechnology could change this.

'Up until now it has been difficult to bring the structural and functional aspects of the lens together because while the optics and mechanics can be measured on the whole lens, the biochemistry requires breaking the lens up to reach the proteins within, making it impossible to see how the proteins are arranged in the lens before and after cataract formation', according to Professor Barbara Pierscionek,

Professor Pierscionek, who is based in Ulster¹s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, in collaboration with two colleagues from the University of Texas at Arlington, Professor Wei Chen who is an expert nanotechnologist and Professor Ron Schachar, an ophthalmologist and physicist are studying the potential of applying nanotechnology to the lens.

'Nanotechnology offers us the prospect of an improved understanding of the intact protein arrangements and how these may change with cataract formation. This is groundbreaking work because for the first time it offers the prospect of penetrating the intact lens and tagging the proteins in their natural arrangements to identify early structural changes that precede cataract formation. This information is vital for the development of non surgical methods for reversing the effects of cataracts.'

Source: University of Ulster
A double take on wearing glasses PDF
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Feature Story
Thursday, 10 April 2008
A new study investigating personality factors linked to myopia has challenged the stereotype that people who wear glasses are introverted.

The study, conducted by the Centre for Eye Research Australia and the University of Melbourne’s School of Behavioural Science, found that people who wear glasses are more likely to be agreeable and open, rather than closed and introverted.

Assoc Prof Paul Baird from the Centre’s Ocular Genetics Unit says the study was the world’s largest investigation of factors linked to myopia, or short-sightedness.

The study was published in a recent edition of the international eye health journal 'Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science', and represented one of a series of investigations to identify factors involved in myopia. The other elements included environmental and genetic factors.

Source: Centre for Eye Research Australia
Nestlé and Novartis to buy 77% of Alcon for $US39 billion PDF
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Wednesday, 09 April 2008
Nestlé and and Novartis announced on 7 April that they have reached an agreement through which Novartis will acquire, in a two-phase deal, a majority stake in Alcon from Nestlé for a total of approximately $US39 billion ($A42 billion).

Initially, Novartis plans to buy an initial stake of 25 per cent in Alcon in the second half of 2008 for about $11 billion, and to acquire Nestlé’s remaining 52 per cent stake for about $28 billion between January 2010 and July 2011.

Novartis doesn’t plan to buy the roughly 23 per cent of Alcon that is publicly traded.
British supermarket group to double in-store practices PDF
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International News
Tuesday, 08 April 2008
British supermarket group Tesco celebrated its 10th anniversary of optometrical and dispensing services by announcing that it is to double the number of in-store practices from 70 to 140 over the next year.

Around 500 new jobs will be created by the roll out including posts for 70 full-time optometrists, 70 full-time practice managers and 350 full-time optical assistants.

Existing in-store practices have proved popular with customers, attracted by Tesco’s low prices and flexible opening hours. Since Tesco entered the optical market it has continued to driving down the price of eye care. In 1998, complete prescription glasses cost from £24.95 while today the starting price is £20.

In five of the existing in-store practices Tesco is piloting a new service called Optomap.

Source: Tesco
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