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Aussie "bionic eye" doing well in clinical trials

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It's a bit odd, even to us, that bionic eyes aren't really that fresh of a topic these days, but they're still dang awesome, and it looks like a new project by the Bionic Eye Foundation at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital is doing particularly well. The bionic eye works in much the same way as a cochlear implant does, by implanting small electrodes to stimulate the retina, which then sends images on to the optic nerve. The view is generated by a video camera mounted on a pair of glasses, and while it's barely managing flashes of light for patients so far, the method seems plenty promising. There isn't much hope yet of offering full sight, but basic outlines of objects should be possible in the near future, and work is even being done on an implant that sends messages directly to the brain, in case a patient's optic nerve does not function. We're not sure how long it'll take for this technology to get out of the lab on onto the street, but clinical trials are sure a good sign.

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