I Can See Clearly Now

Bioengineered corneas could become commonplace

For James Beebe, being able to play a hand of poker with friends is just this side of a miracle. Two years ago, the 78-year-old resident of Brookings, Ore., could not recognize faces from a distance, walk up stairs, or read the numbers on a playing card. His vision had gone from 20/20 to 20/200 in eight years, after his corneas were damaged by medicine taken to control his glaucoma. Today, his vision is 20/40--and he is looking out through one of the first corneas to be grown in a petri dish.

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