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Night vision: a power beyond capabilities


At some point in life, we all have wished to see the things that normal human eye cannot see. Like ghosts? Like the infrared light so that we can make a way out of a tight spot and get a heroic feeling. And almost most of us have dreamed to have the ability to see in the dark. Well, seems night vision is no more a distant dream.

Night Vision

Scientists from China have found a way to give mammals the ability to see infrared light. Since the experiments regarding mammals are never performed on humans, as usual, the experiment has been a success on mice.

There is a particular spectrum of electromagnetic waves that the human eye can see. The waves above and below this spectrum are not perceived by the human eye. It is this light that the scientists have been able to make visible.

This is made possible by a group of scientists led by Xue and Jin Bao from the University of Science and Technology of China and Gang Han from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The science behind

Light when falls on the retina the rods and cones that are the photoreceptor cells absorb the photons with visible light wavelengths. They then send corresponding electric signals to the brain. Infrared wavelengths are too long for the photoreceptors to absorb. Hence we cannot perceive them.

To make it possible Scientists made nanoparticles. These nanoparticles could anchor tightly to photoreceptor cells and act as an infrared light transducer. The nanoparticles would absorb infrared light and convert it into a wavelength the human eye can perceive, thus making it visible.

Signs of experiments

The mice under testing showed unconscious physical signs of detecting infrared light like pupil contraction. But the mice who were injected with the buffer solution did not respond. Later on, the mice that were able to see infrared light was subjected to a maze task. It was to make sure they were functioning well in daylight after the encounter with infrared lights. Apart from cloudy corneas in some cases, they were perfectly fine.

Will it work in humans too?

Scientist Xue said, “In our study, we have shown that both rods and cones bind these nanoparticles and were activated by the near-infrared light. So we believe this technology will also work in human eyes. Not only for generating supervision but also for therapeutic solutions in human red color vision deficits.”

The future holds something

Scientists think there is room for improvement with a new version of organic nanoparticles. These will be made of FDA-approved compounds, which appear to result in even brighter infrared vision. The nanoparticles will be needing time for finer tuning so that they suit our eyes. And if that happens we will be able to see infrared light without gadget assistance.


Humans are advancing in all the fields of mankind. Humans have reaches the brim of advancements that could happen to him naturally. Now the time is to develop further with the help of science. We are now developing capabilities that a natural human does not have and it will only make things better.


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