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Mice given ‘night vision’ superpower with simple injection

Have you ever wanted to be able to see in the dark? Scientists have managed to give mice infrared “night vision” for up to ten weeks, using only a simple injection with no side effects, raising the possibility of future human use.

Described in a paper in the journal Cell, the nanotechnology works inside the eye, binding with retinal cells and translating faint light that the mice’s eyeballs couldn’t detect into electrical signals that they could.

It works by converting the light into shorter wavelengths at the green end of the spectrum so the mice see infrared light as green, similar to night vision goggles.

The mice were put through a battery of tests which found that they could recognize infrared patterns while exposed to daylight and also perceived infrared light and visible light in a similar manner.

The researchers outline that they found no evidence of damage to the mice’s eyes as a result of the experiment. Some mice developed cloudy corneas in the aftermath of being injected with the nanoparticles but it cleared up after a couple of weeks.

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