Researchers in California claim that they have invented eye-drops which enable people to have temporary night vision. The eye-drops can provide 3 instances better vision in the dark.
A team of biohackers from the Science for the Masses organization conducted an experiment which gave the test subject night vision for limited period of time. In order to do this they used a solution consisting of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), Chlorin e6 (Ce6) and insulin. The solution was directly injected into the eyeball.
The substance Ce6 has the properties of amplifying light. It is found in some algae, deep-sea fish and other plants. Plus it is also used in cancer treatment research. It helps with treating tumors in the eye, making them more responsive to laser treatment. In several cases Ce6 was used in cases of degenerative eye diseases to treat people’s night blindness.
By combining Ce6 with insulin and saline the researchers were able to give a volunteer night vision. The mixture of DMSO and insulin helped the eye to absorb Ce6. Afterwards the substance was dripped into the conjunctival sacs and so, the Ce6 was transported to the retinas. After this operation the subject was able to see more than 20 meters (164 feet) in almost total darkness for several hours.
After the solution was dropped into his eyes, the volunteer, Gabriel Licina, had to wear black contact lenses so as to make sure that the light in the room would not be too harsh for his eyes. After two hours, in order to test his vision, he had to identify the markings on a series of items with different letters, numbers and shapes on them. He had to distinguish them in a darkened area from 10-meter distance (around 32 feet). He also went outside during night time. He was asked to identify people who were hiding in a grove of trees using a laser pointer from a distance between 25 and 50 meters (82-164 feet). The result was that he was able to see symbols which were not visible to a control tester. Moreover, Licina had the ability to identify all the people hiding in the woods, whereas the control testers could only spot one-third of them.
The group of independent researchers warned that they did not know if the drops were safe; particularly for a long period of time. The risk that the experiment could pose was the cellular damage caused by exposing the eye to more light.
The day after the experiment Licina’s sight returned back to normal and no noticeable side effects were reported 20 days later. Consequently, the solution for night vision enhancing was considered a success. The team plans to conduct more rigorous experiments in order to prove that the Ce6 solution works. This breakthrough opens great possibilities for people who have difficulties driving at night time and more importantly it will be crucial in critical situations when emergency crews and rescue teams have to work in dangerous environments.
Image Source: Daily Mail
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