Scientists give mice night vision

Mindy Sparks
March 3, 2019

It worked both during the day and at night - and with enough specificity to distinguish between various shapes. Seeing in infrared light essentially allows the subject to see heat sources and would allow soldiers to take on unsafe missions at night WITHOUT the need of night vision googles.

The full study was published this week in the journal Cell.

The effect on mice lasted for two weeks with no perceived side effects on their vision.

The research was led by Xue Tian and Bao Jin of the University of Science and Technology of China and Han Gang of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Humans could soon be seeing what the mice in a mind-blowing experiment saw when their eyeballs were injected with a solution that allowed them to see beyond the spectrum of visible light.

So it might be a while before we're seeing in the near-infrared.

People, animals and objects emit infrared light as they give off heat, and objects can also reflect it.

Infrared or thermal cameras are equipped with detectors that can translate infrared radiation by assigning each temperature a shade of a color. The same patterns were projected onto one end of the maze using infrared light, and the bionic mice were able to find the hidden platform whereas the normal, plain mice could not.

It would also make it easier to rescue disaster survivors trapped under rubble or snow.

Scientists from the USA and China have given mice the ability to see near-infrared light, a wavelength not normally visible to the rodents (or human beings, for that matter), by injecting nanoparticles into their eyes.

His multidisciplinary group created the nanotechnology to work with the eye's existing structures.

The researchers made nanoparticles that could anchor tightly to photoreceptor cells and act as tiny infrared light transducers. "Electromagnetic waves longer or shorter than visible light carry lots of information". The nearby rod then absorbs these wavelengths and sends abnormal signal to the brain.

"In our experiment, nanoparticles absorbed infrared light around 980 nm in wavelength and converted it into light peaked at 535 nm, which made the infrared light appear as the color green", says Bao.

To prove their findings, the scientists dilated the modified mice's pupils and exposed them to near-infrared light and then measured their electrical brain activity.

Peers injected with a placebo solution did not respond.

In rare cases, side effects did occur, leaving some mice with cloudy corneas, which disappeared in less than a week. The brain receives the signal and processes the image as visible light. Other tests found no damage to the retina's structure following the injections.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article