Waste food used in eye research

Pig eyes, common waste products of the food industry, are being used by scientists to help improve treatment and research into human eye infections.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India, used the pig eyes to document their response to infections from bacteria, viruses and fungi, which can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Pig eyes are a good representative model of the human eye, but until now research data has been obtained from expensive and highly-regulated animal research, which must precede any human clinical trials before the treatment can be made available to patients.

The team now intend to use the model to develop alternatives to antibiotics for treating such infection, reducing the potential for the development of antibiotic resistance.

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