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Up until five years ago, Allison Corona’s life was shrouded in darkness. Born with an inherited eye disorder called Leber congenital amaurosis, she could barely recognize colors and could only see the outlines of people—never their facial features or expressions. She says it was like living a half-life.

In 2012, she joined a clinical trial and received a life-changing experimental treatment called gene therapy. Now 25, she says the improvement in her vision has been “drastic.” Everything is brighter. She can see textures. She can tell whether her mother is happy or sad just by looking at her face.

The gene therapy Corona received is now facing the scrutiny of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Today, an advisory panel will recommend whether the regulatory agency should approve the treatment, called Luxturna and made by Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics.

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MIT Technology Review

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