Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare, genetic disorders involving a loss of retina cells, can cause a gradual loss of vision because photoreceptors die off because the eye can no longer make the protein.
“If we could find molecules that affect the protein, we could prevent the cells from dying — and thus stop people going blind,” Jacopo Marino, a biologist at PSI’s Laboratory of Biomolecular Research, said in a press release.
Now that the precise structure of the protein has been found, scientists might now able to find these molecules and go to the next step to create medical treatments for blindness.
The Paul Scherer Institute is the largest research institute in Switzerland. The institute focuses on research on matters and materials, energy, environment and health.
To learn more about the study, read the press release here.
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