Japanese Researchers Claim They Grew Artificial Eye

Researchers at Tokyo University recently reported that they succeeded in growing an artificial eye in tadpoles.

Led by biology professor Makoto Asashima, the researchers said they soaked undifferentiated cells from a frog embryo in a special medium, and then implanted them into a tadpole whose left eye had been removed.

After a week, Asashima reports that the cell was connected to the optic nerve and there was no sign that it had been rejected.

Unfortunately although it garnered a lot of headlines last week, this research has yet to be published or accepted by a peer reviewed journal and as a result it is a bit difficult to figure out exactly what, if anything, these researchers accomplished.


Scientists ‘create artificial eyeball.’ Charles Scanlon, The BBC, January 5, 2002.

Scientists claim to growth artificial eye. Reuters, January 5, 2002.