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Blindness

NEWS
August 13, 1987 | United Press International
Tropical Storm Arlene threw 50-m.p.h. winds and thundersqualls Wednesday toward Bermuda, where a blind sailor attempting a solo voyage across the Atlantic was seeking refuge from the hurricane season's first storm. Sailor Jim Dickson, 41, struggling with a broken computer navigation system, misread his Braille compass Wednesday, got off course for several hours as he raced the storm toward the resort island and will be forced to spend the night at sea, officials said.
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NEWS
October 17, 1989 | Associated Press
A blind man who has been trying to join the State Department for more than a decade said Monday that he has been told his wish will be granted under the reversal of a policy that dates to the 18th Century. Avraham Rabby of New York City said in a telephone interview that he was informed of the decision Friday after the State Department notified Congress of its intention to hire qualified blind people for the career diplomatic service.
NEWS
November 18, 1997 | From Associated Press
A blind physicist who wants to advance a Braille system for computers had his grant request rejected by the Education Department because his typewritten application wasn't double-spaced. "I'm blind. I couldn't tell it was single-spaced," said John Gardner, an Oregon State University professor and expert in new information technologies for the disabled. Gardner said his assistant mistakenly typed the application single-spaced and in a font smaller than the department prefers.
NEWS
March 14, 1993 | LISA KLUG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It is a marriage born of ingenuity: A portable computer that is able to talk and a student who is unable to see. With the help of a lightweight laptop that reads his lecture notes aloud, 32-year-old Robert Antunez is graduating in June with a bachelor's degree from UCLA after 15 years of going to college, a semester here, a quarter there. What's next? Antunez hopes to start law school in the fall. "I'd be lost without my laptop," the political science major said.
NEWS
February 13, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Cincinnati nailed its scofflaw meter-feeder, but it decided not to go after its jaywalking blind man. Jeff Friedlander, 48, was slapped with a jaywalking ticket after he was hit by a pickup truck and broke his tailbone last month. The police officer who ticketed him thought he stepped out of the crosswalk and caused the accident.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2010 | By Jacques Kelly
Dr. Arnall Patz, a Johns Hopkins University physician who discovered and eliminated a major cause of blindness in children, died Thursday of heart disease at his home in Pikesville, Md. He was 89. The director emeritus of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, he was considered a pivotal figure in the history of ophthalmology. His work won him a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and a Lasker Award for his research into the causes and prevention of blindness. As a young doctor training in Washington, D.C., after World War II, Patz observed that a new incubator, sealed to contain an inner climate, was enabling doctors to save premature babies "But something was wrong," Patz said in a 2004 Baltimore Sun profile.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2008
BEFORE "Blindness" (the film) and before Jose Saramago's book, there was John Wyndham and his "Day of the Triffids." Originally published in 1951, it is well known to readers of science fiction, and anticipates Saramago's idea by decades. Having only read Reed Johnson's article and the plot synopsis of the novel, I can't really compare, but it sure sounds similar. The London Times said of ["...Triffids"] in 1951: " . . . a brain-chilling tale of tomorrow. . . . all the reality of a vividly realized nightmare."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
By studying 192 members of a large Kentucky family, Texas researchers have identified the approximate location of a second gene that causes retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary eye disorder that often leads to blindness. RP affects about 100,000 Americans and 1.5 million people worldwide. In 1989, researchers identified a defective gene that causes about one-third of the cases of RP. That gene, found on chromosome 3, is the blueprint for rhodopsin, a pigment that is important in vision.
BUSINESS
July 14, 1998 | Reuters
A nonprofit research group seeking potential cures for blindness disputed as "hype" estimates by Miravant Medical Technologies Inc. of the potential market for its blindness drug Purlytin. The Macular Degeneration Foundation said the market for the drug, currently in clinical trials, is just 200,000 Americans, against Miravant's estimate that up to 3 million people could benefit.
SCIENCE
July 17, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Children who go blind at a very young age develop musical abilities that are measurably better than those who lose their sight later in life or retain full vision, according to a new study. Scientists at the University of Montreal have found that blind people are up to 10 times better at discerning pitch changes than the sighted -- but only when they went blind before the age of 2.
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