A research team from the Riken Center for Developmental Biology and Sumitomo Chemical has produced stratified retinal tissues from human embryonic stem cells for the first time in history. The results have been published in the scientific journal Cell Stem. In 2011, the group had managed to form an optic cup from ES cells in mice. ES cells are capable of replicating into any type of cell. The method was applied in the latest research, in which about 9,000 human ES cells were cultured. An optic cup, an early stage of development of an eye, was created in about 25 days. In the 18th week, it had developed into a three-dimensional neural retina with photoreceptor and ganglion cells.
[Source: Felix Moesner, Science & Technology News from Japan, June 2012]