Report by Sandra Atutxa – Thursday, February 21, 2019 – Updated 06: 03h
"All the stars came together, the eye of the whale could not go into better hands" "He would appreciate a fund to invest in the investigation into the eye of the whale"
DFrom weeks ago, the team led by cell biology teacher Elena Vecino has focused on analyzing the components of the whale eye that chose to die on the beach at Sopela in early February. Some of the collections will be presented today at the international ophthalmology conference of the name Rainbow and nerve optics which is celebrated in Bilbao. "I felt the big death of the whale, but for our team it has been a gift because the eye of the whale will give us great information to tackle the neuro- productive, "said Vecino.
Last weeks have been intense in the UPV laboratory, but it is said that, according to the scientist, it is very interesting for this team of researchers whose work is a pioneer throughout the world. The news about the whale eye had world-wide effects and the interest of specialists in ophthalmology that contacted Vecino immediately abolished to know the analyzes that are made from now on. "We are leaders. In the congress, all the questions that we will be able to analyze and study will be cut down thanks to the eye that was taken to the whale," said Seneca.
The eye of the largest animal in the world hides an infinity of information that can serve mental neurosciences or mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's.
That is why the possibility of studying the eye of this sea mammal was an opportunity for Elena and a team of scientists. The stars wanted to join in science to give the UPV team with this part of the cetacean body. "We could not lower better hands," he said.
The eye is the structure of the body that gives more information, such as the window of the brain: "The eye has a nervous, vascular system and we can discover many things that happen inside. a body that looks just over, "said the scientist. and UPV.
They usually work with pigs with those who study diseases that cause aging. At present, Bizkaia has the only group in the world that works with adult neurologists in culture, as they are hard to maintain and retain.
Glaucoma is the main research line developed by the group, but the opportunity has opened the door to analyze the optical nerve of the whale. In addition, there is an opportunity to study the internal and external excitement, its anatomy and glands. As the scientist explains, "fish can regenerate their optic nerve when it is damaged. In the evolutionary process, mammals have lost that capacity for regeneration. And now we have the possibility of find out what is happening in the case of these mammals living in the sea. "So far, the retina and neuronal cells, the optic nerve or the whale hide have seen in detail.
That is why when the news broke out that cetaceans had died, Elena Vecino did not even think of it, he asked for permission to remove the whale's eye and stand on the beach with a scalpel. "The eyes weighed 921.89 grams and had a hard white structure, such as four centimeters of thickness bones, to resist the pressure of the water," said Vecino.
Since the eye comes to the lab, the team composed by Noelia Ruzafa, Xandra Pereiro and Miguel de la Fuente are split into different ways, some to look at the more detailed molecular features , others to look with a microscope: "We have made small squares of each of the parts studying with different techniques, morphological, molecular, biochemical techniques. It's so big that we have possibilities to & # 39; w study in a different way ".
GyngresSome of those investigations and collections that are found will be highlighted today in the congress of international ophthalmology of the name Rainbow and nerve optics which is celebrated in the Biscayan capital. Elena Vecino, the main investigator of the Oftalmo group and Experimental Biology at the University of the Basque Country, deals with retina. The aim of this team is to solve problems with the visual system, and specifically glaucoma.
Experts from all over the world will present the different studies and research carried out internationally in this area throughout the day. The meeting will bring professionals from Singapore, Germany, the United States together … Elena Vecino will take advantage of this meeting to emphasize the need to invest in research: "We are do with the few sources of funding that public institutions provide. The research is not funded and yet we are leaders, "he added. Having a fund for exceptional cases would help a lot. "Just like the removal of the whale was a 12,000 euro fund, it would be appreciated if there was a fund to invest in the research," he said.