Successful update! Mice become visually impaired thanks to the injection of nanoparticles

The light spectrum between 400 and 700 nanometers is our optical home. Neither humans nor most other mammals can perceive wavelengths far above and below. We work 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 makes us myopic without additional tools? This worked in the mice.

Engineered mice can see in the dark

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

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School teamed up with researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China for an experiment on nanoparticles. They created tiny nanoantennas that they experimentally injected into the bloodstream of the mice. The particles reached the eyes and anchored themselves to 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), which is normally in the invisible range for 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. Human beings see this wavelength as green. The treatment had very few side effects. In some mice the corneas became cloudy for a few days, after a week everything was fine. Scientists believe the technology also works in humans, for example to treat vision problems and treat eye diseases.

A boost to transhumanism?

They are not talking about an upgrade of healthy eyes in the direction of night vision. However, the lead researcher mentions the possibility of “seeing all information hidden by NIR and IR radiation in the universe that is not visible to our naked eyes.” So a push towards transhumanism, after all? Time will tell.


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