Researchers at the University of Southern California think they may be able to treat blindness by replacing damaged retina cells with similar algae cells, The Telegraph reported.
Human trials could begin within two years as the technique worked in mice.
“The idea is to develop a treatment for blindness,” Alan Horsager of USC told New Scientist.
In a working retina, nerve cells convert light into electrical and chemical signals, which are sent to the brain via the optic nerve. Since algae is sensitive to light, it would make sense their cells would replenish damaged cells in a human’s retina – via injection.
"It's good on paper, and it is clear they are heading for a clinical trial with the information they are gathering," said Pete Coffey, at University College London.
"The question is how good is it going to be? Just light/dark, or are people going to be able to read large texts."