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Planet Earth

Just When You Thought Sea Cucumbers Couldn't Get Any Cooler...

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumNovember 6, 2007 1:54 AM

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They did.

When a person's cornea - the transparent surface layer at the front of the eye - becomes damaged, it can be replaced using tissue from an organ donor. But there is a big shortage of corneal donors, as there are for every other type of organ. An ideal solution would be to develop an artificial cornea, but is has proved very hard to design and manufacture a structure so that it is optically clear in the middle and biocompatible at the edges. Now Garret Matthews, a biophysicist at the University of South Florida in Tampa, US, and his colleagues have come up with a design for artificial corneas that they say achieves this - using sea cucumbers.

Sea%20Cucumber_jpg.jpg

Read more about everyone's favorite stimulating echinoderm at New Scientist.

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