A Group Of Biohackers Has Figured Out How To Give Human Beings Night Vision
File this under “don’t try this at home,” but a team of biohackers in California have discovered a way to give human beings night vision for a limited amount of time.
A group named Science for the Masses succeeded in giving one man this superpower by simply slowly dripping a a kind of chlorophyll analog called Chlorin e6 into the eyes of one brave human guinea pig named Gabriel Licina. Chlorin e6 or Ce6 is found in some deep-sea fish and has been used in the past as a way to treat night blindness.
How it happened: With what’s basically a really fine turkey baster, Tibbetts slowly dripped 50 microliters of Ce6, an extremely low dose, into Licina’s speculum-stretched eyes, aiming for the conjunctival sac, which carried the chemical to the retina.
“To me, it was a quick, greenish-black blur across my vision, and then it dissolved into my eyes,” Licina told Mic.
And then they waited. From the patent they read, the effects start kicking in within an hour. Licina and Tibbetts had done their research, going so far as to post a paper called “A Review on Night Enhancement Eyedrops Using Chlorin e6.” But they are, after all, a bunch of guys working out of a garage. So they went out to a dark field and tested Licina’s new superpowers.
Did it work? Yes. It started with shapes, hung about 10 meters away. “I’m talking like the size of my hand,” Licina says. Before long, they were able to do longer distances, recognizing symbols and identifying moving subjects against different backgrounds.
“The other test, we had people go stand in the woods,” he says. “At 50 meters, we could figure out where they were, even if they were standing up against a tree.” Each time, Licina had a 100% success rate. The control group, without being dosed with Ce6, only got them right a third of the time.
Assuming Science for the Masses or someone else can get this night vision trial fine-tuned just imagine the applications for soldiers, search and rescue teams, police, and any number of jobs where seeing at night would be helpful could benefit greatly.
Not to mention I could finally begin my superhero career as a real-life Doctor Mid-Nite.
Night vision image by Shutterstock