In the news this week; doctors are hoping for a blindness cure after miraculously restoring one patients sight. The people of Ireland prepare to vote on the abortion referendum today (May 25), which could mean an end to the abortion restrictions in the country. Elsewhere, a Polar Bear cub has been born in Britain for the first time in 25 years.
Doctors Hope For Blindness Cure
Scientists have recently said that treatment for a common cause of blindness could be available within five years. Age-related Macular Degeneration is a condition which affects the middle part of your vision, although it may not cause total blindness it can be make everyday activities extremely difficult. Without treatment, the condition can get worse and eventually lead to blindness.
One patient has recently undergone a procedure where doctors implanted a patch of stem cells over the damage on the eye which meant vision was restored. Douglas Waters, the patient who was cured, said before the surgery that he couldn’t see out of his right eye which made day to day life difficult. He’s now had his sight restored and says:
It’s brilliant what the team have done and I feel so lucky to have been given my sight back.”
Scientists hope that the ground-breaking surgery will soon become as common as cataract surgery which will help large numbers of people across the UK that are suffering from Macular Degeneration.
Irish Abortion Referendum
A referendum will take place today in Ireland to decide whether to repeal the eighth amendment to the country’s constitution. If the country vote yes, the government could overthrow a law which restricts women from having abortions within Ireland. Women are allowed to travel out of Ireland for an abortion, but many women feel they shouldn’t have to leave home to do so.
In preparation for the referendum, many people are returning to Ireland to cast their vote. The hashtag ‘#HomeToVote’ has been trending on Twitter, with many sharing their stories and photos of just how far they’ve travelled to ensure their voice is heard. The most recent referendum on this subject was held in 1983, so for many this is their one chance to try and change the law.
First Polar Bear Born in the UK in 25 Years
Wildlife lovers around the country are celebrating as it was announced recently that a Polar Bear cub has been born within the UK – more specifically in the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park.
The cub was actually born just before Christmas last year but has only just been revealed to the world. It does not yet have a name and the sex of the cub hasn’t been disclosed, but we do know the cub is doing well and will stay with its mother Victoria for at least two years.
There are only 22,000 polar bears left in the wild and their numbers are decreasing as polar bears futures are at risk due to climate change. It’s a great achievement that a polar bear has been born in captivity, Barbara Smith is the Chief Executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and says:
The birth of the first polar bear in the UK for 25 years is a tremendous achievement and testament to the team at our Highland Wildlife Park, where we have developed a world-leading polar bear management programme.”