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Japanese scientists 'grow artificial eyeball'
January 5, 2002 Posted: 1:11 AM EST (0611 GMT)

TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- Japanese scientists have succeeded in growing artificial eyeballs for the first time in the world, Kyodo news agency said on Saturday.

A group of researchers led by Makoto Asashima, biology professor at Tokyo University, succeeded in growing eyeballs in tadpoles using cells taken from frog embryos, Kyodo said.

" Since the basics of body-making is common to that of human beings, I think this might help enable people to regain vision in the future, " Asashima was quoted as saying.

The group, after soaking undifferentiated cells from the embryo of a Platanna frog in a special medium, transplanted the eyeball into a tadpole whose left eye had been removed before it was hatched, Kyodo said.

A week after the transplant, Asashima's group confirmed the tadpole's eyeball was connected to the optic nerves and there were no rejection symptoms, it said.

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