It might seem and sound to you like a dialogue straight out of Dexter’s laboratory or the latest Marvel film but a group of scientists in California have been successful in creating eye drops that temporarily enable night vision. Intrigued? So are we!
An independent “citizen science” organisation that goes by the name of Science for the Masses and operates from the city of Tehacapi, theorised that Chlorin e6 (Ce6), a natural molecule that can be created from algae and other green plants, could enhance eyesight in dark environments.
This molecule is believed to be found in some deep sea fish, and also forms the basis of some cancer therapies. It has previously been prescribed for night blindness as well.
According to Jeff Tibbets, the lab’s medical officer, “There are a fair amount of papers talking about having injected it in models like rats and it’s been used intravenously since the 60s as treatments for different cancers. After doing the research, you have to take the next step.”
The next step they took was to moisten the eyes of the biochemical researcherGabriel Licina’s eyes with 50 microlitres of Ce6.
The effect was apparently almost instantaneous and after an hour he was able to distinguish shapes from 10 metres away in the dark and soon at even greater distances.
“We had people go stand in the woods,” Licina said, “At 50 metres, I could figure who they were, even if they were standing up against a tree.”