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Giving Compass' Take:
• Researchers in China are injecting nanotech particles into mice's retinas causing them to see infrared vision and expanding their sense of sight.
• How can technological advances like this be beneficial to humans? What does this new research tell us about neuroscience and animal welfare?
The list of animals that can see infrared light, which lies just beyond the red part of the rainbow, is very small. It includes vipers and pythons, whose faces have infrared-detecting pits wired to the visual centers in their brain. It includes a few freshwater fish such as carp and tilapia. It includes salmon, but only when they swim back into rivers from the sea, and only after dramatically retooling the chemistry of their eyes. It includes bullfrogs, but only in the bottom halves of their eyes. It does not include humans, unless we wear special goggles or are exposed to specific kinds of laser pulses. And it doesn’t include mice.
Except, that is, for those in Tian Xue’s lab at the University of Science and Technology of China.
Xue and his colleagues injected the eyes of mice with nanoparticles that were designed to stick to the light-detecting cells in the rodents’ retinas.
Read the full article on injecting nanoparticles in mice causing infrared vision by Ed Yong at The Atlantic