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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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
October 9, 1996 | From Associated Press
People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day double their likelihood of developing the most common cause of blindness among older Americans, according to two new studies in today's Journal of the American Medical Assn. The more people smoke and the longer they smoke, the higher their risk of developing the usually untreatable malady, age-related macular degeneration, the research found.
April 23, 1988 | SCOTT KRAFT, Times Staff Writer
From the time he was a toddler, Moriba Katmara fought off the black flies. To be bitten 200 times a day while working in the fields was not unusual, and the tiny drop of blood left by each bite would have turned into a thick stream by nightfall. Katmara and half the men in his village are blind now because of those flies. Small children lead him from place to place. His life's work consists of making rope and shelling peanuts. He has given up hope he'll ever marry. Katmara is only 28 years old.
August 12, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A colony of blind spiders, previously believed extinct, has been found in caves under the desert of the Australian outback. Found beneath the Nullarbor Plain, a 104,000-square-mile expanse of sand and low bushes in the south of Australia, the spiders are almost devoid of color, said Michael Gray a biologist with the Australian Museum in Sydney. The spiders, one of only three species in the world that are blind and live underground, may have inhabited the desert for 3 million years, Gray said.
March 14, 2005
Re "University of Colorado Chief Resigns," March 8: University of Colorado professor Ward L. Churchill compared the Sept. 11 victims to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal who masterminded the Holocaust, history's most horrible crime. Undoubtedly his vicious and insensitive remarks caused pain to the relatives of the victims of 9/11. In announcing her resignation, Elizabeth Hoffman, the university president, claimed that Churchill was the victim of a new McCarthyism in which people with unpopular views are targeted.
Randall Curlee opened his front door to a red setting sun he appeared not to see. Neighbors had rushed home from work and were standing in their driveways, chatting about the big game, which Curlee wouldn't be watching. "I'm glad I'm not a fan," he said, referring to college basketball's national championship, its cheers and sighs drifting down from an upstairs television. "Right now, I couldn't see it anyway. I've gone temporarily blind."
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