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Las Vegas casino tycoon, Steve Wynn, gave $25 million to support blindness research. He donated his money to the University of Iowa after finding out that their scientists are looking for a cure.
According to AP, Wynn, 71, said that the scientists are “knocking on the door” of a discovery. He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye defect, when he was in his 20s. Back then, there was no hope for those who were diagnosed with this disease, which causes nighttime blindness and lack of peripheral vision. Wynn believes that in his lifetime, scientists will be able to restore vision by using stem cells to grow new, working cells and inserting them into patients' eyes.
Wynn says, ”This is an exhilarating, quite exciting place. To a scientist, this is like going to a rock concert. I mean there is stuff going on in these rooms here that, to put it in the common vernacular, is really far out.”
According to ABC, Wynn spoke in an interview at the university for the event celebrating the Steven A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research, which was renamed after Wynn gave the $25 million gift to the university.
The money will be used to build a new lab and to hire more scientists to continue the research.
“The rest of the world is waiting with bated breath for the kind of work you’re doing,“ he said, ”To help keep the lights on in this institute has now become synonymous with keeping the lights on in people’s eyes.”
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia