Remember Riddick? In a series of science fiction films, Pitch Black (2000), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), and Riddick (2013), Vin Diesel played the lead character, Richard Riddick, who could see clearly in the dark, but was forced to wear welding goggles in sunlight to protect his eyes. Humans have always wanted the ability to see at night.
Researchers at The University of Massachusetts Medical School are hard at work on aiding night vision. The developed nanoparticles made of lectin proteins which when delivered into mice eyes, allowed the mice to visually detect the longer wavelengths of infrared light, the light military night scopes use to see the energy given off by most living objects.
In lab tests, it was determined that the nanoparticles which essentially adhered themselves to the photoreceptor cells in the retina, enabled the mice to differentiate between different patterns of near-infrared (NIR) light. The ability to see normally remained unaffected and the added ability to see NIR light wore off after two weeks.
We look forward to seeing how this discovery and this process will evolve and whether it will someday be used to help with driving at night or working in dark spaces such as mines.
For more information check out the findings from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
image courtesy of Universal Pictures