33MD for March 5, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, March 5, 2009 - 8:58pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

A British man can now see flashes of light after seeing nothing for 30 years. The reason is a bionic eye. It uses a camera and video processor mounted on sunglasses to send images to a tiny receiver on the outside of the eye. The receiver then passes on the data through a cable to an array of optic nerves in the brain. The patient, who is 73, had the eye implanted seven months ago at a London hospital. “It really is quite amazing. They said let there be light and there was light. For 30 years I’ve seen absolutely nothing at all, it’s all been black but now light is coming through.” The eye may one day be used to help patients learn to interpret the visual patterns into meaningful images.

We’ve seen scientific proof that secondhand smoke can be physically harmful to nonsmokers. Now, new research shows spending a lot of time around smokers can ruin your mood, too. The study from the University of Miami finds nonsmokers who are exposed to cigarette smoke at home or at work are twice as likely to suffer from major depression. That’s compared with those who don’t live or work around smoke. Researchers say the risk for depression also doubled for those who work in places that only allow smoking in public areas.