Who wouldn’t like to see in the dark? It seems like a superhero power, however, having night vision can have more earthly applications such as military applications, caving research, night rescue functions or treating night blindness.
Now, a group has discovered a way to inject a substance into the eye blood cells to allow us to have vision at night or in low light conditions. This discovery allows a person to see up to 50 meters in the dark, although only temporarily.
The California team at Science for the Masses (SfM) used a compound called Chlorine e6 (or Ce6) found in some deep-sea fish. This compound has occasionally been used to treat night blindness and even cancer. To reach human experimentation, experiments were previously carried out on animals and once this phase was passed, it was time to take the next step. Researcher Gabriel Licina agreed to be the human laboratory rat.
Inject a compound to have night vision
First, Licina’s eyes were cleaned and her eyelids held open by a speculum. Next, Tibbetts, one of the researchers, deposited 50 microliters of a blackish Ce6 solution mixed with saline, insulin and dimethyl sulfate (DMSO) into the eyes. The purpose was to reach the conjuctival sac to improve the absorption of the compound and better reach the retina, which is the light-sensitive part of the eye. The objective of using DMSO was to increase the permeability of cells to the compound.
At first, Licina saw in greenish-black color, but then it dissolved in her eyes. Next, he had to wear eye protection from light, such as sunglasses.
After two hours, the team tested Licina’s new night vision in a darkened field. At first, Licina could see hand-sized shapes 10 meters away. Over time, he came to identify symbols such as numbers and letters as well as objects moving across different backgrounds and longer distances.
In another test, he was able to identify where people were located in a forest 50 meters away using a laser pointer. He was able to do it correctly even when people stood against a tree or bush. The four people in the control group were successful one-third of the time.
The next morning, his vision seemed to have returned to normal without any notable side effects. However, since it is a test with a single individual, it can be subjective, so many more trials are needed to see if these results are conclusive.
Photo by Falcon33