Karthik Shekhar and his team analyzed eyes from various species, including humans, to explore the evolution of the vertebrate retina. Their surprising findings, published in Nature, reveal that most retinal cell types have ancient origins, dating back over 400 million years. Despite diverse visual adaptations in different species, the study shows a remarkable conservation of cell types across vertebrates. The research could improve animal models for human eye diseases, particularly glaucoma, by understanding the molecular composition of retinal cells. The study’s focus on single-cell genomics provides valuable insights into the evolution and diversity of retinal cell types.
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