The cornea used to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the eye. Once jokingly dismissed as a mere dust cover by scientists who study the retina, the cornea is gaining new respect as research reveals its complexities.

IMPETUS FOR INTEREST: UC-Davis's Mark Mannis maintains that advances in technology and molecular and cell biology are spurring interest in cornea research.
"Probably the reason for the interest, first of all, is the burgeoning technology in refractive surgery and in implantation devices," explains Mark J. Mannis, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento, and editor-in-chief of the journal Cornea. "So on one side there's a technological impetus to increase our interest in [the] cornea. And the other is probably an enhanced understanding of molecular biology and cell biology, which is now being applied to [the] cornea, both diagnostically and therapeutically. . . . I think that...

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