Successful upgrade! Mice become night sight through nanoparticle injection

The light spectrum between 400 and 700 nanometers is our optical home. Neither humans nor most other mammals can perceive wavelengths high above and below. We play with technical visual aids, such as night vision goggles, to make infrared light visible at night. Is it possible to give our eyes an upgrade that will allow us to see at night without additional tools? This worked in mice.

He sees artificial mice in the dark

The brains of the mice were able to interpret the new information

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School have teamed up with researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China to experiment with nanoparticles. They created tiny nanoantennas, which they experimentally injected into the bloodstream of mice. The particles reached the eyes and anchored there on the photoreceptors. These receptors are used to perceive light. With the newly acquired equipment, the animals were suddenly able to perceive what is known as near-infrared (NIR) radiation, which is normally invisible to them (and humans). The brain easily processed and interpreted the information.

The nanoparticles absorb IR light at a wavelength of 980 nanometers and convert it to 535 nanometers. People see this wavelength as green. The treatment had almost no side effects. In some mice, the corneas became cloudy for a few days, and after a week everything was fine again. Researchers believe that this technology also works in humans, for example in the treatment of poor eyesight and eye diseases.

A shift to transhumanism?

He doesn’t talk about upgrading his healthy eyes in the direction of night vision. However, the lead researcher mentions the possibility of “seeing all the hidden information from NIR and IR radiation in space that is not visible to the naked eye.” So after all, a shift to transhumanism? Time will show.


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