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Researchers Discover Another Layer To the Cornea

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the also-new-letter-between-q-and-s dept.

Medicine 74

puddingebola writes with this excerpt: "A previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye, has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham. This new layer, called the Dua's Layer after Professor Harminder Dua who discovered it, could help surgeons to dramatically improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants. This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written. Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients," said Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences."

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74 comments

Publishers rejoice (5, Funny)

CodeReign (2426810) | about 10 months ago | (#43995435)

Publishers rejoice as student are once again forced to purchase new books.

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995521)

Oh please. Factual errors have never stopped a textbook from being used in class before.

Re:Publishers rejoice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43997791)

Oh please. Factual errors have never stopped a textbook from being used in class before.

Yeah right. If the fucking textbook cover changes in color, they have a reason to force students to purchase the latest "supported" edition of the $250 book.

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

houbou (1097327) | about 10 months ago | (#43995621)

well, thank god for the age of e-books! :)

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 10 months ago | (#43997463)

The trees are certainly happy about e-books. The students' pockets on the other hand... don't seem to be much affect since the industry wants to charge dead tree books' prices for e-books.

Re:Publishers rejoice (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#43997929)

When asked one unnamed major local publishing house about the translator rates, they told me that most of the costs go into printing and paper so they can't pay me much more than that. The same publishing house responded to public questions regarding cheaper e-books with telling the public that most of the costs are actually due to the editors, and chiefly due to the translator, so they can't sell the e-books at a significantly lower price because I'm too expensive. You're obviously a smart goy, do the math.

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#43997951)

That was supposed to be "smart guy". (I guess some typos are just embarrassin, but statistically, I guess I still have a 99.8 percent chance of being right with this only mildly stronger claim!)

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44004959)

Actually, it's spelled "Schmott guy."

http://girlgenius.wikia.com/wiki/Magnificent_Hat

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 10 months ago | (#43996425)

Publishers rejoice as student are once again forced to purchase new books.

Not just students, but every optometrist and ophthalmologist around as well.

Basically it completely rewrites the textbook, so practically everything prior is now hopelessly obsolete.

Including training courses and everything.

Re:Publishers rejoice (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#43996461)

Publishers rejoice as student are once again forced to purchase new books.

Of course.

This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written

If they had to be rewritten only metaphorically, they'd probably would be rejoicing much less.

I know it is clear but.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995447)

How did this get missed for so long?

Re:I know it is clear but.... (5, Funny)

O-Deka-K (1520371) | about 10 months ago | (#43995527)

It was right in front of their eyes the whole time!

Re:I know it is clear but.... (3, Funny)

Picass0 (147474) | about 10 months ago | (#43995817)

It was staring them in the face!

Re:I know it is clear but.... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43996253)

I see what you did there. We'll have to wait until other people have a look at the data, we don't want to put a lid on it yet. Don' worry mon, evry'ting gonna be iris.

Re:I know it is clear but.... (3, Funny)

eth1 (94901) | about 10 months ago | (#43996851)

Yes, but it wasn't right under their nose, so it's understandable they missed it.

Re:I know it is clear but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44001021)

Speak for yourself.

Cornea is in the eye of the beholder! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43997703)

There, now I've said it.

Re:I know it is clear but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995571)

It's 15 microns thick and just inside an already-known membrane.

Re:I know it is clear but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43996619)

Cause it just evolved.

Different Name (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995473)

I would have called it the "cornucopia"!

And... (5, Funny)

bfmorgan (839462) | about 10 months ago | (#43995551)

"I see", said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.

Axe (0)

justthinkit (954982) | about 10 months ago | (#43995681)

wouldn't "hammer and axe" make more sense? A saw can be guided to and then used to cut without the use of vision.

Re:Axe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43996143)

Whoosh! It's a pun, moron.

Re:Axe (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 10 months ago | (#43996265)

wouldn't "hammer and axe" make more sense? A saw can be guided to and then used to cut without the use of vision.

your response made me laugh.

Re:Axe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43999347)

It's a poetic pun.

Wow.. but.. (2)

houbou (1097327) | about 10 months ago | (#43995603)

so, this is all new.. which is great, but, then again, what about the procedures they have been doing for the last little while, say like Lazik for example? Wouldn't this little bit of knowledge be important prior to sending to the surgery? Is this going to affect those procedures?

Re:Wow.. but.. (1)

barista (587936) | about 10 months ago | (#43995945)

It might be useful in developing new procedures or improving current ones, but it will take time. The new information isn't going to change anything drastically in the short term.

Re:Wow.. but.. (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43996635)

The "new" layer is between the stroma and Descemet's membrane (behind the stroma). Since LASIK and most other refractive procedures modify and reshape the stroma, they wouldn't even touch this layer. Corneal transplants, though, would be affected. A full-thickness transplant can take up to a year to recover from, since, among other reasons, there are no blood vessels in the cornea to aid healing. Partial-thickness transplants still take something like six weeks. Here's hoping this new knowledge can help speed those recovery times.

The eyes have it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995931)

For those who don't bother to read TFA: Dua's layer is what keeps your eyeballs intact despite your eye being pressurized to a greater extent than the surrounding atmosphere. It can take up to two bars of pressure. The discovery helped doctors figure out what was behind the cause of several structural-weakness related illnesses of the eye and may lead to new treatment options for glaucoma sufferers.

Re:The eyes have it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43997025)

This is very good news (besides providing grist for asinine comments). Anything that can help treat these 'orphan diseases' will be welcomed. My wife is 8 months into a cornea transplant after 30 years of living with severe keratoconus and for the last few years wearing 4 contact lenses (!). She had to have the procedure because her eyes couldn't deal with the contacts anymore and hard lenses are the main treatment for the disease. So far so good, but she's had some issues with living with 16 stitches in her eye for up to a year. In fall those come out and then the new cornea gets vision corrected (right now its 20/200). Then we're 'looking at' 2014 for the next eye. I am amazed at what can be done. Needless to say we'll also 'see' if her Dr. is aware of this development.

Any doctors in the house? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43996193)

Since I've never been to med school, and flunked out of biology because I couldn't stomach the dissections ... is this a really hard to find layer or something?

I should think with all of the eyes which have been dissected by now, I can only assume this is a very hard to find structure if they're just finding it now. That or it looks like its part of another layer.

Though, it just goes to remind us that modern science still doesn't know everything.

Re:Any doctors in the house? (4, Informative)

reverseengineer (580922) | about 10 months ago | (#43996803)

From the experiments that were done to find this new layer, it seems that it is very difficult to separate from the adjoining layer (Descemet's membrane). Getting Dua's layer to separate from Descemet's membrane was a serendipitous result of simulating eye surgery (a lamellar keratoplasty, which is a partial corneal graft) involving the "big bubble technique," which uses an injection of air to separate Descemet's membrane from the corneal stroma. It turned out that it was sometimes possible to create this air bubble in specimens where Descemet's membrane had been removed, meaning there had to be another layer for air to get into. Otherwise, it wouldn't be easily detected as a separate layer.

Here's what the "big bubble technique" looks like [sciencedirect.com]. It's pictures of eye surgery, so don't say you weren't properly warned.

Re:Any doctors in the house? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43996863)

Thanks ... give or take a few points, that makes sense. But I think I'll pass on the pictures. ;-)

Re:Any doctors in the house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44001461)

behind a paywall :/ I'll dare it and try google image search

Re:Any doctors in the house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43997893)

Though, it just goes to remind us that modern science still doesn't know everything.

Perhaps, but the real question is how much of modern science is being purposely hidden due to greed and corruption?

Unfortunately, there is now too much money to be made in treatments, so even when cures are found, it's not likely to be made public. The Board wouldn't allow it.

Re:Any doctors in the house? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 10 months ago | (#44003779)

Well, the cornea is very, very transparent. And all the layers are held together quite well, so finding a distinct layer likely is quite difficult.

Please stop naming organs after people (0)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about 10 months ago | (#43996813)

We don't need more organs with names that imply nothing about their function. Stop boosting the egos of these scientists, their goal should not be self-immortalization but advancement for the good of the scientific community.

I thought we were transitioning away from those obscure, hard-to-remember names; such as the Eustachian tube in the ear getting renamed to simply auditory tube.

Re:Please stop naming organs after people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43996989)

We have started to eliminate all people's names in anatomy. Why we would create new ones eludes me... I must say though that in cell biology, a lot of structures still possess the names of their discoverer's (Purkinje cells, Golgi apparatus, etc.)

Re:Please stop naming organs after people (1)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#43997047)

It makes perfect sense to use a person's name at first. Considering it's just been discovered, the jury is still out on what it does (if anything) it's a bit hard to name it based on function.

If you think using names would be confusing, imagine a functional name 10 years later when we decide it doesn't do that at all.

Re:Please stop naming organs after people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43997865)

Naming it after a person is more abstract, which can be helpful our knowledge of something's function is still evolving or it turns out to be multifunctional. You could always change the name down the line if the function becomes better understood, but then when doing old literature searches, you would now need to search for two things.

Re:Please stop naming organs after people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43997867)

We don't need more organs with names that imply nothing about their function. Stop boosting the egos of these scientists, their goal should not be self-immortalization but advancement for the good of the scientific community...

...says the uber-nerd who still names his servers after Star Wars planets and characters.

For a minute there I thought "Wookie" was the email server, not the DNS server. I mean, what the fuck was I thinking...

Re:Please stop naming organs after people (1)

egnx (1767774) | about 10 months ago | (#44005279)

Meh. Prof Dua and Dr Mengeler have given my wife the ability to see for the past 15years, if he gets a layer named after him then thats just fine by me. Thanks Prof. on behalf of all your patients.

Textbooks rewritten? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43996841)

More like one paragraph in a 2000 page book....

Every one tries to glorify their accomplishments. These are called new n00b attention seeking scientists.

Good news for us losing vision (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 10 months ago | (#43997289)

As someone who is losing vision due to a degenerative corneal condition, this is good news. Maybe soon they can pop them out, give them a tuneup, and put them back in.

We are obviously Related To (1)

keithltaylor (966667) | about 10 months ago | (#43997847)

the Vulcans. Like the inner eyelid Spock realizes he has in TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!" Meant to protect us in the days we had 2 suns before one went nova. I made that last part up.

Dua's Layer (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 10 months ago | (#43997999)

I assume the NonEgotistical Layer name was taken.

I wonder how many cool nicknames he's also given himself.

Re:Dua's Layer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44001887)

You must get really depressed reading an anatomy textbook then. Just about every small feature of your body has a doctor's name who discovered what it was for -- Cowper's glands, islets of Langerhans, Broca's area, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

It's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43998989)

...Google Glass.

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