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Now the Eye Has Its Own Instant-Chip-Test: New Trial to Try the New Instant-Test for Eye Infections


|| September 20: 2017: University of Southampton News || ά. Clinicians and engineers in Southampton have developed a microchip, that could detect sight-threatening eye infections within minutes and prevent misuse of antibiotics. Conventional testing methods for corneal infections or microbial keratitis, which include using microscopes, growing cultures in the laboratory or antibiotic sensitivity testing, can take anywhere between 48 hours and two weeks to provide results. Working alongside ophthalmologists at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, experts in electronic engineering and molecular microbiology at the University of Southampton used the chip to analyse bacteria extracted from laboratory-infected tissue samples from the eye retrieval and corneal transplant service at UHS.

They found measuring the electrical properties of single bacteria as they pass one by one between tiny electrodes at high speed can identify instantly, that an infection is present and distinguish between different bacteria such as E. coli and pseudomonas, something not possible using existing techniques. As a result of the findings, a prototype device has been approved by the Health Research Authority and Research Ethics Service for patients presenting with corneal infections at Southampton General Hospital's eye unit, with a pilot study involving 30 patients set to launch next month. Corneal infections occur when the cornea is damaged by a foreign object and through the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms, often due to contaminated contact lenses. There are around 6,000 cases of corneal infections diagnosed in the UK every year, with around a third related to contact lens wear.

"The cornea is only half a millimetre thick and infections can spread rapidly and destroy this structure, so timely treatment is extremely important, but we, also, have the added complication, that treatment can be very different for each type of bacteria present." said Dr Parwez Hossain, a consultant ophthalmologist at UHS and part of the study team.

"These findings, although currently laboratory-based, could have deep implications for the detection and treatment of corneal infections as it has the potential to reduce diagnosis time from up to two weeks to only a few minutes and the ability to deliver the correct antibiotics immediately."

Professor Hywel Morgan, Professor of Bioelectronics and Deputy Director of the Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Southampton, said, “Our technique is relatively simple, we just measure the electrical signals from the cells flowing one by one through the chip and this information is enough to distinguish the different micro-organisms. It could have widespread applications, particularly, given the current challenges we face in tackling overuse of antibiotics.”

In a further development, the research team, also, hopes to trial the test in Africa and South Asia as part of the study through links developed with Southampton General Hospital’s eye unit through overseas programmes.

Professor Myron Christodoulides, Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Southampton and a member of the study team, said, “Outside of the UK, rapid detection and targeted antibiotic treatments for eye infections are very urgent needs for many people living in some of the poorest countries in the world.

We have plans for working closely with our new partners at the Lighthouse Eye Hospital in Kenya and the Christian Medical College in India to use this exciting project to help meet their needs.”

The device, developed with funding support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, was recently awarded the prestigious Founders Cup prize for research innovation at the 101st Oxford Ophthalmological Congress.

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International Eye Cancer Research Project to Improve Future Therapies




|| August 29: 2017: University of Liverpool News || ά. A new international research project, involving the University’s leading eye cancer research

group, has identified specific subtypes of ocular melanoma, that will help develop improved management strategies and therapies in the future. Uveal melanoma:UM is a cancer, that arises from the pigment cells, melanocytes, in the middle layer of the eye. UM is a rare cancer, being diagnosed in about 600 patients in the UK each year and it differs in many ways from skin melanoma. Although, treatment of the eye for UM is usually successful through radiotherapy or surgery, up to 50% of UM patients develop metastatic disease, typically, in the liver, for which there are currently no effective therapies.

In a comprehensive analysis of 80 primary UM, researchers of the Cancer Genome Atlas:TCGA Research UM group identified and characterised four distinct subtypes, that have unique genomic abnormalities, gene expression features and patient outcomes. This TCGA study, published in Cancer Cell this month, suggests that the four UM subtypes uncovered, each with unique molecular pathway changes and associated clinical prognoses, may, require different management strategies. The researchers deployed a range of sequencing technologies and analytical approaches to characterise molecularly and clinically distinct subtypes of UM.

They were able to identify new and complex alterations of particular genes, that otherwise would not have been found. These genomic alterations can help distinguish subtypes of UM, which carry more and less favourable prognoses, respectively.

Professor Sarah Coupland, who leads the University’s Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group:LOORG and who is Director of the North West Cancer Research Centre:NWCRC, made a major contribution to the TCGA UM study. LOORG contributed 25% of the intensively investigated UM samples, which came from several other international centres. The TCGA stringency criteria for the quality of examined samples with all of the associated clinical data were very high.

These criteria were met by LOORG’s samples, which were kept in the unique Liverpool Ocular Oncology Biobank, run by LOORG’s Senior Postdoctoral Scientist, Dr Kalirai. LOORG was, also, integral in the evaluation of all 80 UM samples, the complex data interpretation and manuscript writing of the TCGA UM study, which ran over three years from start to end.

Of the research Professor Coupland said, “We already stratify UM patients into those of high and low risk with respect to developing metastases. The TCGA subtypes will help us refine our prognostication model, which has been successfully used in the NHS for years at the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Referral Centre and other places across the globe.

Overall, this study expanded our basic understanding of a rare, deadly disease and revealed novel characteristics of the primary tumour that, may, guide the development and application of ‘personalised’ clinical strategies for UM subtypes in the future.

We are, also, involved in the UMCure2020 project, which is assessing many similar aspects of UM metastases in the liver. Through the TCGA and UMCure2020 I am confident that we will make breakthroughs in the treatment of this devastating disease, as has been done in other cancers recently. We are infinitely grateful to all UM patients, who allow us to use their tumour samples for this research”.

TCGA is a collaborative project, begun in 2005, to catalogue genetic mutations responsible for cancer, using genome sequencing and bioinformatics. TCGA applies high-throughput genome analysis techniques to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer through a better understanding of the genetic basis of this disease.

The collaboration jointly supported and managed by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute, both parts of the National Institutes of Health. The TCGA UM study was one of the latest conducted by this consortium. ω.

The Paper: Integrative Analysis Identifies Four Molecular and Clinical Subsets in Uveal Melanoma

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New Researcher Finds Connection Between Sleep Hormone and Short-Sightedness


Image: Ulster University



|| August 23: 201: Ulster University News || ά. A team of scientists from Ulster University has successfully proven, for the very first time in humans, that there is a connection between short-sight, myopia and the melatonin levels, which control the natural body clock. In the study the researchers assessed a group of young adults over a period of 18 months, during which their melatonin levels were measured first thing in the morning after fasting. It was found that those people, who were short-sighted, had over three times more melatonin in their system than those, who were not.

The findings, which follow on from previous research released by Ulster University showing that there are now twice as many post-primary school-aged children in the UK diagnosed as short-sighted than there were 60 years ago, build a strong platform for future research. The long-term goal of the researchers is to determine whether disrupted sleep patterns in childhood are related to short-sight and whether behavioural interventions and sleep pattern management could serve as a low cost strategy to managing short sightedness.

Professor Kathryn Saunders, Lead Researcher at Ulster University, said, “While having a short-sighted parent plays a big part in determining whether or not a child becomes short-sighted, the rate at which children are becoming short-sighted tells us that it is not just simple genetics at play.

Our modern lifestyles are, also, having a significant impact. Even mildly short-sighted eyes are at future risk of a number of serious, sight-threatening conditions such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Our research suggests that the body clocks’ of the short-sighted adults in our study were different, which is exciting because if these differences are, also, found in children, they may, help us better understand which aspects of modern lifestyles are causing more children to become short-sighted than ever before.

If, as we suspect, disruptions to the natural body clock are shown to be influential in the development of short-sight, modifications to lifestyle, that target strengthening healthy sleep and activity patterns could positively affect both general and eye health.

Ulster University’s previous research has already shown that children, who spend less time outdoors and less time in sporting activities are at increased risk of short-sight, and this new research may go some way to explaining why that is the case.”

The Paper: Myopes have significantly higher serum melatonin concentrations than non-myopes. ω.

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National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017: June 12-18

Image: Queen's University Belfast

|| May 30: 2017 || ά. The International Glaucoma Association:IGA presents new research showing lack of awareness of the need to have regular eye pressure checks, as it launches its ‘Pressure Checked Campaign for National Glaucoma Awareness Week, June 12-18. In August 2016 a research team from City, University of London, led by Professor David Crabb, took a purpose-built healthcare Pop-Up into shopping centres across England. On some days the 'Feeling the Pressure' Pop-Up offered free blood pressure and eye pressure checks to shoppers and on other days it just offered free eye pressure checks alone.

Some initial results from the research were recently presented at the European Academy of Optometry and Optics:EAOO meeting in Barcelona in May 2017. The researchers found people had far greater awareness of the need to have their blood pressure tested compared to having their eye pressure checked. Significantly more people engaged with the Pop-Up on days when both blood and eye pressure checks were offered, 60% of all those tested, compared to the days when just eye pressure checks alone were offered, 40% of the total tested.

Researchers asked shoppers what they knew about blood pressure and eye pressure before being tested. In total 71% of shoppers had a good understanding of blood pressure but only 19% knew anything at all about eye pressure. “These results show a staggering lack of understanding and awareness about eye pressure in the general public.'' said Laura Edwards, the Research Optometrist, who tested more than 700 people during a marathon 16 days of testing.

Professor Crabb said, “As we know, eye pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for glaucoma. People generally get the idea that high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and it’s a good thing to check it now and then. This is unsurprising because it has been a much repeated public health message over the years.

Similarly we need to educate the public that there are parallels with eye pressure being a risk factor for potentially losing your sight. We also need to make sure people understand it is something that can be easily checked and something they ought to ask for when they next visit their optometrist or eye care professional”

There are an estimated 64 million people with glaucoma worldwide and an estimated 600,000 people living with the condition in the UK today, half of whom are as yet undiagnosed. Raised eye pressure can sometimes indicate glaucoma and in fact is the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, so this year’s campaign is to educate people about the importance of eye pressure as part of a regular eye health check. If detected early, glaucoma can be managed and useful sight can usually be maintained throughout life.

Ms Karen Osborn, Chief Executive of the IGA, comments, ''The research clearly showed that people are quite familiar with getting a blood pressure check, but are far less aware of the need for regular eye pressure checks. It is shocking that only one in five people in all of the locations visited knew about eye pressure. If pressure is too high it can lead to irreversible damage to the optic nerve leading to loss of vision.

Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight for a good reason, as the brain fills in the missing parts of vision and it isn’t until there is significant sight loss that a person thinks to visit an optometrist who can help to detect what is happening. A significant amount of vision can be lost, and once lost it cannot be recovered. We hope this year’s campaign will encourage eye pressure checks at least every two years and for over 40s every 1-2 years.”

What is Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye, the optic nerve, is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and as it becomes damaged vision is lost.

Glaucoma is more common in people over the age of 40.
There are often no early symptoms of glaucoma
Symptoms of advanced glaucoma include missing, patchy vision and even serious loss of vision
If left untreated glaucoma can lead to serious loss of vision, with up to 40% of sight being permanently lost before the effects are noticed
Most people with glaucoma will be safe to drive for many years, but it important to alert the DVLA to the condition if advised by an ophthalmologist.

Glaucoma eye tests: The IGA believes that everyone should have regular eye health checks, at least every two years (or every 1-2 years for over 40s). Glaucoma tests are quick, simple and convenient. A visit to your local high-street optician is all that is needed to see if you are at risk of glaucoma. There are three simple tests which include:

Looking at the appearance of the main nerve in the eye, called the optic nerve
Measuring the pressure in the eye, often referred to as the air puff test
Checking the field of vision. In Scotland there is a fourth test which measures the corneal thickness

Ms Georgie Morrell is a 30 year old comedian, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at three years old, which led to uveitis, inflammation of the eye and glaucoma. She has had various treatments and surgeries over the last 27 years. She lost the sight in her left eye and was blind in her right eye for a year when she was 21, although she has since regained some sight in that eye. Georgie’s sight problems have informed her career as a writer and comedian, so much so that she wrote a stand up routine called ‘A Poke in the Eye’ about her experience.

Ms Hayley Burke is a 44 year old Family Support Practitioner at Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice in South Wales. Hayley’s job involves driving round south west and mid-Wales to visit the families of children with terminal illness, so when Hayley was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 39, she was worried about whether she would be able to continue driving for her job.

Ms Marilyn Jackson is a 63 year old humanist celebrant, based in Edinburgh. She conducts non-religious weddings, baby naming ceremonies and funerals all across the east of Scotland, so when she discovered she had glaucoma she was worried how this would impact on her job.

About the International Glaucoma Association: The International Glaucoma Association:IGA is the charity for people with glaucoma. Its mission is to raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and to provide support to patients and all those who care for them. Set up in 1974, it is the oldest patient based glaucoma association in the world and it is a registered charity in England and Wales, and in Scotland. As part of its support services, the IGA operates the Sightline, telephone helpline and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma. ω.

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Eye: Can You See My Heart: Your Heart That Might Fail: Well: Can You or Can't You: But Have You Taken Your Eplerenone

Image: Queen's University Belfast


|| March 23: 2017: University of Southampton News || ά. Researchers in Southampton are leading a groundbreaking study into whether or not a drug, used to treat heart failure, could save the sight of patients with a currently untreatable eye condition. Central serous chorio-retinopathy:CSCR, which is a type of macular degeneration, affects mainly people in their thirties and forties and occurs when fluid gathers under the retina and damages the tissue.

There are 10 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 men and two per 100,000 women in the UK every year and, although some cases spontaneously resolve, some persist for years, recur or affect the second eye and around a third of patients suffer permanent vision loss. Now, Professor Andrew Lotery, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Southampton, is leading the first study into the long-term benefit and safety of the drug eplerenone for the disease.

The £01 million project will involve 104 patients across 20 sites in the UK and participants will receive either the medication or an identical placebo tablet for up to 12 months. “This is a really important study because a number of patients suffer permanent vision loss as a result of this condition, the cause of it is unknown and there are currently no proven treatments for it.” explained Professor Lotery, who is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and research director for his team’s charity the Gift of Sight Appeal.

“Recently a small number of patients have responded to treatment with eplerenone and that is exciting but information on the long-term benefit and safety is lacking, so we hope this landmark trial will establish the first scientifically proven therapy for CSCR.”

Professor Lotery said that, although, the cause of the condition is unknown, it can occur in families and some genetic changes have been found, so another area of focus for the project will be to prepare for future studies covering this area.

“As part of our research we will, also, collect blood samples for use at a later date to allow us to study proteins and chemicals in the blood stream and patients’ DNA.” he explained. “Once this first stage of testing the effectiveness and safety of the drug is complete, we will seek to determine what genetic variations are more common in CSCR patients and which proteins or genetic variations help predict who best responds to treatment with eplerenone.”

Early-stage research into CSCR was funded and supported by the Gift of Sight Appeal.

Professor Lotery said, “The success in securing support for this major CSCR project indicates the value of the Gift of Sight Appeal as the initial funding it provided has enabled us to demonstrate the potential value of larger studies, helping us to obtain considerable financial support."

Anyone interested in finding out more about the study can contact the research team on 023 8120 5266 or by email at vici-trial at
This project is funded by the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation:EME Programme, an MRC and NIHR partnership. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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New Rotating Molecules Could Pave the Way for a New Generation of High-Efficiency Lighting

Members of the SPIE Student Chapter of the University of Oulu Ms. Tatiana Avsievich show school children the magic of the Optics and Photonics.Image: University of Oulu

|| March 03: 2017: University of Eastern Finland News || ά. Scientists have discovered a group of materials, which could pave the way for a new generation of high-efficiency lighting, solving a quandary, which has inhibited the performance of display technology for decades. The development of energy saving concepts in display and lighting applications is a major focus of research, since a fifth of the world's electricity is used for generating light. Writing in Science this week, the team, from the University of Cambridge, the University of East Anglia and the University of Eastern Finland, describes how it developed a new type of material, that uses rotatable molecules to emit light faster than has ever been achieved before.

It could lead to televisions, smart-phone displays and room lights which are more power-efficient, brighter and longer lasting than those currently on the market. Corresponding Author, Dr Dan Credgington, of the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory, says, "It's amazing that the very first demonstration of this new kind of material already beats the performance of technologies, which have taken decades to develop. If the effect we have discovered can be harnessed across the spectrum, it could change the way we generate light." Molecular materials are the driving force behind modern organic light-emitting diodes:OLEDs. Invented in the 1980s, these devices emit light when electricity is applied to the organic, carbon based, molecules in them.

OLED lighting is now widely used in televisions, computers and mobile phones. However, it has to overcome a fundamental issue, which has limited efficiency when it comes to converting electrical energy into light. Passing an electric current through these molecules puts them into an excited state, but only 25% of these are 'bright', states that can emit light rapidly. The remaining 75% are 'dark' states, that usually waste their energy as heat limiting the efficiency of the OLED device. This mode of operation produces more heat than light just like in an old fashioned filament light bulb. The underlying reason is a quantum property, called, 'spin' and the dark states have the wrong type.

One approach to tackle this problem is to use rare elements, such as iridium, which help the dark states to emit light by allowing them to change their spin. The problem is this process takes too long, so the energy tied up in the dark states can build up to damaging levels and make the OLED unstable. This effect is such a problem for blue emitting materials, blue light has the highest energy of all the colours, that, in practice, the approach can't be used.

Chemists at the University of East Anglia have now developed a new type of material, where two different organic molecules are joined together by an atom of copper or gold. The resulting structure looks a bit like a propeller. The compounds, which can be made by a simple one-pot procedure from readily available materials, were found to be surprisingly luminescent.

By rotating their 'propeller', dark states formed on these materials become twisted, which allows them to change their spin quickly. The process significantly increases the rate at which electrical energy is converted into light achieving an efficiency of almost 100% and preventing the damaging build-up of dark states.

Dr Dawei Di and Dr Le Yang, from Cambridge, were Co-lead Authors, along with Dr Alexander Romanov, from the UEA. Dr Romanov says, "Our discovery that simple compounds of copper and gold can be used as bright and efficient materials for OLEDs demonstrates how chemistry can bring tangible benefits to society. All previous attempts to build OLEDs based on these metals have led to only mediocre success.

The problem is that those materials required the sophisticated organic molecules to be bound with copper but has not met industrial standards. Our results address an on-going research and development challenge which can bring affordable high-tech OLED products to every home." Computational modelling played a major role in uncovering this novel way of harnessing intramolecular twisting motions for energy conversion.

Professor Mikko Linnolahti, of the University of Eastern Finland, where this was done, comments, "This work forms the case study for how we can explain the principles behind the functioning of these new materials and their application in OLEDS." The next step is to design new molecules, that take full advantage of this mechanism, with the ultimate goal of removing the need for rare elements entirely. This would solve the longest standing problem in the field, how to make OLEDs without having to trade-off between efficiency and stability.

Co-lead Author, Dr Dawei Di, of the Cavendish Laboratory, says, "Our work shows that excited-state spin and molecular motion can work together to strongly impact the performance of OLEDs. This is an excellent demonstration of how quantum mechanics, an important branch of fundamental science, can have direct consequences for a commercial application which has a massive global market."

The Paper: Dawei Di et al: "High-performance light-emitting diodes based on carbene-metal-amides" is published in Science 30th March 2017

Contact details: Paul Seagrove: Research Communications Officer: University of Cambridge: Tel: +44:0:1223 765542: Mob: +44:0:7739 160561: email: paul.seagrove at

Associate Professor Mikko Linnolahti, tel. 050 592 6855: email: mikko.linnolahti at ω.

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This is Not About the Frogs But About Their Eyes and Their Ability to See and Dream in Colour Even in the Depth of Darkness: Except We Have to Use a Little Imagination That They Do Dream

Image: Original: Carola Yovanovich


|| March 18: 2017: Lund University Sweden News || ά. The night vision of frogs and toads appears to be superior to that of all other animals. They have the ability to see colour even when it is so dark that humans are not able to see anything at all. This has been shown in a new study by researchers from Lund University in Sweden. Most vertebrates, including humans, have two types of visual cells, located in the retina, namely, cones and rods. The cones enable us to see colour but they usually require a lot of light and therefore, stop working when it gets dark, in which case, the rods take over so that we can at least find our way home, albeit in black and white.

In toads and frogs the rods are a bit special, however. It was previously known that toads and frogs are unique in having rods with two different sensitivities. This has not been found in other vertebrates and it is, also, the reason why researchers have long suspected that frogs and toads might be able to see colour, also, in low-light conditions. The new study was first in proving this to be true and the results exceeded all expectations. “It’s amazing that these animals can actually see colour in extreme darkness, down to the absolute threshold of the visual system. These results were unexpected.” says Professor of Sensory Biology Almut Kelber at the Faculty of Science, Lund University.

It was during the third of three experiments that the researchers discovered that frogs are able to use their rods to distinguish colour in extreme darkness. The researchers studied the frogs in a situation that is as serious as it is common, namely, when frogs need to find their way out, in case, they are trapped in conditions of complete darkness. This is potentially an everyday occurrence, taking place in dark dens and passageways on the ground. In such instances, finding the exit becomes crucial, which, also, means that the frog is inclined to make use of any sensory information that is available.

In the other experiments the researchers studied to what extent frogs and toads use their colour vision when searching for a mate or hunting for food. The results showed that the animals stop using their colour information fairly early when it comes to finding someone with whom to mate, whereas they continue to take advantage of their colour vision to select food in such low-light conditions that humans lose their ability to see colour.

“We have previously shown moths and geckos are, also, able to see colour in inferior light conditions compared to humans. However, frogs apparently have a unique ability to see colour in the dark.” says Almut Kelber.

The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland and Vladivostok in Russia. The main author, Carola Yovanovich, has been in charge of the work on the study in Almut Kelber’s research group at Lund University.

The Paper: Thresholds and noise limitations of colour vision in dim light

Contact: Almut Kelber, Professor at the Department of Biology, Lund University: +46 46 222 34 54: email: almut.kelber at
Carola Yovanovich, Post Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Biology, Lund University: email: Carola.Yovanovich at
Kristian Donner, Professor at the Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki: emial: Kristian.Donner at

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This Ark is Made of Light, Called Medicine: Arclight

Inside Image: University of St Andrews

|| February 03: 2017: University of St Andrews News || ά. A revolutionary pocket-sized device which could help save the sight of millions of people around the world has been launched by a team led from the University of St Andrews. Arclight is a low-cost, solar-powered ophthalmoscope aimed at helping health workers in low-income countries detect signs of blindness. It can also be used as an otoscope to look into the ears and help prevent deafness. Designed specifically as an easy-to-use tool for outreach or screening programmes in low-income countries it enables users to make instant on-the-spot diagnostic decisions.

A study led from the International Centre for Eye Health in London showed that it performs as well as traditional devices costing up to 100 times as much. Few hospital-based doctors in poorer countries have these essential instruments and almost none at the mid or community level. Using the Arclight an examiner can see the front and back of the eye, helping reveal all major blinding conditions such as trachoma, cataract, glaucoma and diabetes. It is ideal for students or any qualified health care worker in low or high resource health care settings.

Through collaboration with the Fred Hollows Foundation and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, thousands of units have already been distributed to countries around the world, including Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Fiji, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, enabling healthcare workers to perform comprehensive eye and ear examinations for the first time.

Dr Andrew Blaikie is a Clinical Academic at the University of St Andrews, who also works as an Eye Surgeon at Queen Margaret Hospital with NHS Fife. Working with colleagues at the University of Leicester and University College London, he has been a central member of the team steering the development and testing of the Arclight. A recent article in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal highlighted the role St Andrews’ Global Health Team has had in this process.

Dr Blaikie said, “Arclight is the result of years of hard work by a small team of enthusiasts. These efforts have brought simple, frugal yet highly effective tools to health care workers who would otherwise be unable to make the early diagnoses needed to prevent needless blindness. The work of the Global Health Team at St Andrews has helped focus attention on the exact needs and challenges of health care workers in low-income countries.

We now aim to add internal memory loaded with teaching material and a clip to allow image capture with mobile phone cameras to the next version of the device. At the same time we are developing several other potentially disruptive low cost diagnostic tools aimed at serving the needs of health care workers in poorer countries.

‌Our studies have also shown the device is an ideal tool for medical students and doctors in the UK too, and through sales here and in other wealthy nations we aim to cross-subsidise distribution to poorer countries such as Malawi, where Scotland has strong historical links.” The University of St Andrews has now established a spin off company to promote sales of the device and coordinate the subsidised distribution to low income countries.

Professor David Harrison, Director of Research in the Medical School at St Andrews, said, “Arclight shows how university, health services, industry and partners overseas can work together to meet global needs in a realistic and effective manner. We will be providing this versatile and clever instrument to our medical students as they enter clinical training.”

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness:IAPB

The IAPB leads international efforts in blindness prevention activities. Its mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies in the planning and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes.

IAPB Standard List

The Standard List is a procurement and budgeting platform for eye health services in developing countries. IAPB members can access carefully evaluated products and technologies from trusted suppliers, at specially negotiated prices.

The Fred Hollows Foundation

The Fred Hollows Foundation is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, international development agency focused on eliminating avoidable blindness. Working throughout the world and within the indigenous Australian community, it concentrates on the comprehensive treatment of cataract blindness, but also trachoma, diabetic retinopathy, and refractive error. The Foundation was established to continue the work of the late Professor Fred Hollows (1929-1993).

Global facts on blindness: About 285 million people have significant visual impairment or are blind, 39 million alone; Up to 80% of blindness is preventable, often with timely, simple and low-cost interventions; Uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment; Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Western Eye Hospital London
















Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine













Image: Plymouth University

At the General Medical Council GMC Conference 2016

Image: GMC















BMA Advisory Panel Seeks Members from All Areas of the Practice of Medicine
















University of St Andrews School of Medicine

Image: University of St Andrews





The Lake Eden Eye





The Window of the Heavens Always Open and Calling: All We Have to Do Is: To Choose to Be Open, Listen and Respond




Imagine a Rose-Boat

Imagine a rose floating like a tiny little boat on this ocean of infinity
And raise your soul-sail on this wee-little boat and go seeking out
All along feed on nothing but the light that you gather only light
Fear shall never fathom you nor greed can tempt nor illusion divert
For Love you are by name by deeds you are love's working-map



Only in the transparent pool of knowledge, chiselled out by the sharp incision of wisdom, is seen the true face of what truth is: That what  beauty paints, that what music sings, that what love makes into a magic. And it is life: a momentary magnificence, a-bloom like a bubble's miniscule exposition, against the spread of this awe-inspiring composition of the the Universe. Only through the path of seeking, learning, asking and developing, only through the vehicles and vesicles of knowledge, only through listening to the endless springs flowing beneath, outside, around and beyond our reach, of wisdom, we find the infinite ocean of love which is boundless, eternal, and being infinite, it makes us, shapes us and frees us onto the miracle of infinite liberty: without border, limitation or end. There is nothing better, larger or deeper that humanity can ever be than to simply be and do love. The Humanion


Poets' Letter Magazine Archive Poetry Pearl

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The Humanion Online Daily from the United Kingdom for the World: To Inspire Souls to Seek

At Home in the Universe : One Without Frontier. Editor: Munayem Mayenin

All copyrights @ The Humanion: London: England: United Kingdom: Contact Address: editor at thehumanion dot com

First Published: September 24: 2015