Solution designed for macular degeneration

Published Dec 6, 2013, 7:28 pm IST
Updated Jan 20, 2016, 3:22 pm IST
Macular degeneration destroys a person’s sharp, central vision.
Chennai: Nobel laureates usually come out with inventions in their own field of expertise, but winner of the award for chemistry Prof Walter Kohn has come up with a solution to help macular degeneration in patients.
Macular degeneration destroys a person’s sharp, central vision. One needs central vision to see objects clearly and for  tasks, such as reading and driving. Prof Kohn’s research in the ophthalmic field did not happen overnight, it was occasioned by his wife getting afflicted with it.
“To help my wife get some kind of relief from this illness, which is predominant among people aged above 60, I started the research. I have reached the final stage and we are waiting for patents,” Prof Kohn said in an informal chat with Deccan Chronicle after delivering a lecture at Sathyabama University on Thursday.
Prof Kohn, who was awarded the Nobel prize for his development of the density-functional theory, said that he had come to meet a renowned ophthalmologist to discuss his research. He has developed a computerised method to measure the precise visual distortion experienced by a macular degeneration patient, using a computer mouse and specialised software to reconstruct the Amsler grid so that it appears undistorted.
 Earlier in his special address to students and faculty at the university, the Nobel laureate stressed the need to use renewable energy resources, like solar and wind. “I know that India is fast catching up in the use of nuclear energy, which is not safe. One should not ignore solar and wind energy as the percentage of people using it is on the rise,” he said.
The condensed matter theorist urged the Indian government to drop its plan for expansion of nuclear reactors. “When you have abundant solar and wind power why should you look at nuclear energy?” he said.
Location: Tamil Nadu