— CNET (@CNET) March 27, 2015
Forget taking millions of years to evolve, scientists are speeding up the process. Their latest innovation? Injecting human eyeballs with the ability to see in the dark.
Yes, it sounds stranger than fiction, but according to this report from Science for the Masses, increased vision capabilities in low lighting is achievable by carefully dropping a solution of Chlorin e6 (Ce6), saline, and insulin with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) directly onto the eyeball.
Yikes! From Buñuel to Kubrick, it’s safe to say that eyeballs, especially vulnerable ones, freak us out. And yet, there’s something very enticing about the potential to see in the dark. For starters, playing manhunt would be a cinch, not to mention the benefits that such enhanced vision could have for search and rescue or military operations.
U.S. “citizen scientist” group claims to have successfully tested eye drops that "let you see in the dark": http://t.co/836AhJgpFA
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) March 29, 2015
The man in the photos is Science for the Masses testing consultant, AKA a guinea pig, Gabriel Licina, who volunteered to test the solution himself. The result? After Licina’s eyeballs absorbed the solution, he put on black contacts to avoid unnecessary exposure to light and then was brought out to a dark field to test his new capabilities against a group of controls (people who didn’t receive the drops). The report stated that he scored a 100% on the test – identifying people and objects in the dark – compared to the control’s 33%. According to Licina,
“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 brighter. Not a crazy noticeable light, burning and doom, but more a subtle, ‘Oh I can see a thing!’”
Science for the Masses, which aims to advance the field of “citizen science,” was not unaware of the risks of this experiment. Ce6’s light amplification properties have made it useful in cancer treatment, but there is a chance that it can cause damage to the eye’s cell structure. DMSO is a controversial solvent that contains sulfur. But never fear; as Licina gracefully put it, “We researched the f*ck out of this.”
If he says so!
So, do you think it’ll be out with night vision goggles and in with these eye drops? Or will you wait for the gruesome side effects to start popping up?
— ThePlaidZebra (@The_PlaidZebra) March 30, 2015
This is so disturbing, but the idea behind it is so cool! Would you ever try? Click here… you’ve been warned!