Imagine you could gain the ability to see in the dark using a special kind of eye drop. It sounds like something from a science-fiction movie, but it’s abso-freakin-lutely not! This new discovery could be fun for anyone taking a night hike. It is also critically helpful for rescue teams or people working in dangerous environments at night.
Enhanced night vision might be more than a COOL idea.
An experiment performed by a group of California scientists, or ‘biohackers’ as they call themselves, claim to have discovered a way for people to achieve night-vision without the use of special goggles. They recently conducted an experiment called Science for the Masses(SftM), in which they injected a volunteer’s eyes with a special liquid solution that gave him superhuman night-vision.
Although, it shows it might be possible already, they proceed with a caution that they did this for research purposes and don’t know if the eye drops they created are necessarily safe, especially in the long term because something that allows more light into your eyes could cause cellular damage. So, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!
So, after receiving the injection, the volunteer – researcher Gabriel Licina – could supposedly see up to a distance of 50 meters in almost total darkness for several hours, and could spot people running among trees in dark conditions. In comparison, people who weren’t treated with the solution did not fare as well.
The mystifying solution apparently contains a substance called Chlorin e6 (Ce6), which is found in some deep-sea fish. It has light-amplification properties, and has also been used in cancer treatment research.
By combining Ce6 with insulin and saline, the team was able to produce a solution that can improve vision in the dark. After getting a few drops of the stuff into his eyes researcher Gabriel Licina could supposedly see up to a distance of 50 meters in almost total darkness for several hours, and could spot people running among trees in dark conditions. In comparison, people who weren’t treated with the solution did not fare as well.
During the experiment, the scientists dropped the liquid onto the conjunctival sacs on Gabriel’s eyes, using a pipette. When the solution reached his retinas, his eyes turned scarily black for a while, but later returned to their normal color.
To me, it was a quick, greenish-black blur across my vision, and then it dissolved into my eyes. It’s subtle. It’s not like ‘oh my gosh I have super vision!’ It’s more like dark became dim, everything was a little bit brighter. Not a crazy noticeable light, burning and doom, but a more subtle, ‘oh I can see a thing!”
Once the tests were complete, Gabriel was asked to wear sunglasses while he sleeps so that his eyesight returned to normal the next morning. No side effects were noted up to 20 days after the experiment, but the team said that further testing was needed to “confirm and measure the degree and improvement in health subjects.”
On the other hand, as interesting as the experiment sounds, the researchers warned that it should not be tried at home. They noted in their paper that “the high risk of cellular toxicity from outside contaminants being absorbed through the skin make this chemical something that should only be handled with caution.” They also wrote that the application of Ce6 could cause damage to the cellular structure of the eye.
Gabriel said that he was willing to risk the experiment because of all the work he’d done as a part of the research team himself.
It’s more difficult to sue yourself,” he joked. “We have done the research, we’ve double and triple checked all of our sources and the journal papers. We are serious about what we do, we are serious about science, so that means we read a lot of journals papers.”
via Science for the Masses and Mic Science