Scientists in the United States have revealed that they have moved a step closer to working out the causes behind retinal degeneration.
Looking at the vision of fruit flies, the team from John Hopkins University noted that retinal dystrophies result from inherited defects in the "visual cycle" of most vertebrates, including humans.
This is the series of biochemical reactions which serve to recycle the molecule that enables light detection in eye cells and, with the research having now revealed that such a cycle is also present in flies, the team have expressed their confidence that they will now be able to further their studies into retina degradation.
"Flies are a good model in which to study and test new therapies for retinal degeneration," explained lead researcher Dr Craig Montell.
"This research opens the door to using flies as a way to look for drugs to reduce human retinal degeneration due to defects in the visual cycle."
by Adrian Galbreth