Mysteries often are solved with the introduction of newer technology that reveals more information helping to answer lingering questions. Recently, for example, ground-penetrating radar using radiating electromagnetic pulses at the tomb of King Tutankhamun detected additional hidden rooms that may prove to be the long-lost burial chamber of Queen Nefertiti.1 Similarly, using enhanced depth imaging with anterior segment optical coherence tomography, Skaat et al2 have examined the effect of topical pilocarpine hydrochloride, a drug used to treat glaucoma for more than a century, on the structure of the Schlemm canal in healthy eyes and eyes with glaucoma. They were able to convincingly demonstrate in vivo that after a single drop of pilocarpine was administered, there was an increase in the cross-sectional area and volume of the Schlemm canal in healthy and glaucomatous eyes. Pilocarpine is a muscarinic agonist known to stimulate the ciliary muscle that pulls on the scleral spur and opens the trabecular meshwork. Skaat and colleagues suggest that pilocarpine may be having a direct effect on the Schlemm canal or an indirect effect through activation of the ciliary muscle or trabecular meshwork apparatus.
Katz LJ. Novel Technology for Locating Hidden Egyptian Tombs and Detailing Schlemm Canal Physiology. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(9):982. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.2015