Tag Archives: AMD

Doctors restore patient’s sight with stem cells, offering new hope for cure to blindness

Scientists have developed a specially engineered retinal patch to treat people with sudden, severe sight loss.

The macula lutea (an oval region at the center of the retina) is responsible for the central, high-resolution color vision that is possible in good light; when this kind of vision is impaired due to damage to the macula, the condition is called age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD). Macula lutea means ‘yellow spot’ in Latin.

Picture of the back of the eye showing intermediate age-related macular degeneration.
Via Wikipedia

Douglas Waters, an 86-year-old from London, had lost his vision in July 2015 due to severe AMD. After a few months, Waters became part of a clinical trial developed by UC Santa Barbara researchers that used stem cell-derived ocular cells. He received his retinal implant at Moorfields Eye Hospital, a National Health Service (NHS) facility in London, England.

Before the surgery, Water’s sight was very poor, and he wasn’t able to see anything with his right eye. After the surgery, his vision improved so much that he could read the newspaper and help his wife in the garden.

The study, published in Nature Biotechnology, shows groundbreaking results. Researchers could safely and effective implant a specially engineered patch of retinal pigment epithelium cells derived from stem cells to treat people with sudden severe sight loss from wet AMD. This is the first time a completely engineered tissue has been successfully transplanted in this manner.

“This study represents real progress in regenerative medicine and opens the door on new treatment options for people with age-related macular degeneration,” said co-author Peter Coffey, a professor at UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute and co-director of the campus’s Center for Stem Cell Biology & Engineering.

Douglas Waters was struggling to see up close after developing severe macular degeneration, but 12 months on he is able to read a newspaper again

AMD usually affects people over the age of 50 and accounts for almost 50% of all visual impairment in the developed world. The condition disturbs central vision responsible for reading, leaving the surrounding eyesight normal. Wet AMD is caused by hemorrhage or liquid accumulation into the region of the macula, in the center of the retina. Wet AMD almost always starts as dry AMD. Researchers believe that this new technique will be the future cure for dry AMD.

Scientists wanted to see whether the diseased retinal cells could be replenished using the stem cell patch. They used a specially engineered surgical tool to insert the patch under the affected retina. The operation lasted almost two hours.

Besides Water, another patient, a 60-year-old woman who also suffered from wet AMD, underwent the surgery. The two patients were observed for one year and reported improvements to their vision. The results were incredible — the patients went from being almost blind to reading 60 to 80 words per minute with normal reading glasses.

“We hope this will lead to an affordable ‘off-the-shelf’ therapy that could be made available to NHS patients within the next five years,” said Coffey, who founded the London Project to Cure Blindness more than a decade ago.



AMD Opteron

New Opteron processors by AMD

AMD Opteron AMD has been getting pounded in the past few quarters, having its market share ever thinned at the hands of Intel. The company is now ready to turn things around once with the official release of its new models from the Opteron series – Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors, formerly code-named “Interlagos” and “Valencia.”

Allegedelly, these new chips will offer a considerable jump in performance, compared to previous AMD models, and more importantly, than their current main competation, Intel’s Xeon lineup.

Both Opteron models will ship in various performance configurations, from 4 to 16 cores, offering up to 73% more memory bandwidth. An important advance in the line is the new chips’ power consumption efficiency, as well as their smaller dimensions. Typically, the new Opterons require 2/3 less floor space and up to 2/3 lower platform price.

“The reality of the world is that most mainstream business markets purchase middle-range processors, rather than the highest-end, priciest chips available,” Lewis said.

“Opteron offers more performance at a more reasonable price than Intel. Plus, AMD actually carries a consistent set of features across products lines, and doesn’t ‘de-feature’ processors going down the stack. As such, we feel that Interlagos and Valencia are well positioned to provide an optimal performance metric at a very good price point.”

Here’s an overview of the specs for the new 

Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series.

  • The only x86 processor to support ultra-low voltage 1.25v memory.
  • Up to 24% to 84% better performance on key cloud, virtualization and HPC workloads.
  • Lower cost per virtual machine (VM).
  • Up to 4 memory channels with up to 1600 MHz memory.
  • Supports up to 12 DIMMs per CPU for up to 384GB memory per CPU.
  • Up to four x16 HyperTransport technology (HT3) Links at up to 6.4GT/s per link.