A bionic eye is coming in the future

In Sight: A bionic eye could restore sight to blind people in future.
In Sight: A bionic eye could restore sight to blind people in future.

The future, they say, is already here.

But when it comes to the ability to restore sight to the blind, the future is not here just yet. But it’s coming. 

The prospect of a bionic eye has made progress in recent years.

A few blind Australians have tested a prototype that enables them to see basic outlines, light and shapes.

The bionic vision system consists of a camera attached to a pair of glasses, which transmits high-frequency radio signals to a microchip implanted in the eye.

For the likes of Deb Hescott, this represents hope.

Deb has three generations of her family – her grandfather, brother and son – who have retinitis pigmentosa.

This is a disease that strips away sight. It’s the number one cause of youth blindness.

The bionic eye aims to address this condition, along with age-related macular degeneration.

Deb, who is vice president of a charity called Retina Australia NSW, said medical research for blindness is also making progress in gene therapy and stem cell research.

“I believe in the not-too-distant future there will be options to restore vision,” she said.

“However, it is the funds that keep this great work happening.

“As a charity who receives no government funding, we reach out to the community to help us.”

Deb will help the search for a cure, with an event called Dining in the Dark on Friday, October 13 at The Beach Hotel, Merewether.

Jeff and Deb Hescott at a previous Dining in the Dark event.

Jeff and Deb Hescott at a previous Dining in the Dark event.

Guests are blindfolded while eating a meal to gain a taste of what it’s like to have low vision or blindness.

“It is a unique sensory experience that is fun and an opportunity to reflect on how lucky we are to have sight and support those who don’t.”

She said there were “many levels of blindness”.

“It is not simply that you either see or you don't, there are many variations on the scale,” she said.

“Sight is such a precious gift and for most it is taken for granted.”

Snakes Alive

A snake slithers across the Marketown car park in Newcastle West.

A snake slithers across the Marketown car park in Newcastle West.

Snakes have been turning up all over the place.

We almost stepped on a red-bellied black snake on a run through a bush trail. We also heard that a brown snake lunged at a young girl, but her dad pulled her away just in time.

Oh, we also heard a snake gave shoppers a shock in the Marketown Shopping Centre car park in Newcastle West recently.

Mishka Minacova posted a video of the encounter, saying: “My boyfriend and I were just going to the gym in Marketown and he spotted it”.

They called security and waved down traffic, as the snake slithered across the car park.

Evan Regan said on Facebook: “This is where I work and I know it was safely caught and relocated down the bush. It was a beautiful diamond python”.

RBT, Traffic & Community Updates shared the video, saying: “You saw Snakes on a Plane [and] Snakes on a Train, now we bring you snakes in a car park”.

Free Burgers

Grill’d Healthy Burgers at The Junction, Westfield Kotara and Charlestown Square will give away free burgers until Tuesday.

The catch is, you must donate $30 to the Polished Man initiative.

Polished Man challenges men and women to paint one nail blue to represent the one child who dies every five minutes as a result of violence.

“That nail starts a conversation that inspires a donation. That donation allows for prevention and protection,” Grill’d said.

Their burgers are good, too, just quietly.