Degeneration of cells in the retina is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the Western world. When the cells that detect light (photoreceptors) die in the human retina, they are never replaced. Some fish, on the other hand, have the remarkable ability to produce new photoreceptors after injury. The goal of our research is to understand how these cells regenerate in the fish retina with the hope that this will suggest ways to reverse the effects of retinal degeneration in humans. This photograph features a section of a Zebrafish retina. The red feather-like cells are photoreceptors and each blue spot is a cell nucleus.
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