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Rats genetically engineered to lose their sight can be protected from blindness by injections of human neural stem cells, according to research presented at the International Society for Stem Cell Research conference in San Francisco last week. StemCells, a startup in Palo Alto, CA, plans to use the positive results to file for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials. The company is already testing the cells in children with a rare, fatal brain disorder called Batten's disease.

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