California biohackers create night vision eye drops

California biohackers create night vision eye drops

By Jordan Minor Mar. 29, 2015

Only the most hardcore luddites object to the very idea of using technology, like night vision goggles, to improve human performance. It’s the only way we can compete with the superior strength, size, and other natural advantages of our fellow animals. But the minute scientists talk about using technology to actually alter and improve the human body itself, some people become a little more wary, others get excited. Here’s the next big test of your own transhumanism tolerance. California scientists have developed eye drops that grant night vision.

The Tehachapi-based, independent “citizen science” group Science for the Masses created the sellable superpower after researching a natural molecule called Chlorin e6. Ce6 allows certain deep sea fish to see in the dark, and if Spider-Man has taught us anything other than what comes with great power, it’s that scientifically transferring animal abilities to humans is always awesome. Fortunately, the molecule can also easily by extracted from plants like algae, and it’s already used in some cancer treatments, so it’s proven human-safe.

You can read the full report, but basically the experiment was a fascinating success. After applying the drops, scientists were able to clearly and instantly recognize people over 160 feet away in pitch blackness standing in the woods. Their eyes absorbed so much more light they even had to wear sunglasses indoors despite the risk of looking like incognito celebrities.

The effects weren’t permanent, though. 50 microliters of the solution wore off after a few hours, and the scientists plan to do plenty more research on the long-term effects of Ce6 before considering the future of night vision in a bottle. However, we should all be excited about the fact that night vision in a bottle even has a future worth considering. BioShock plasmids surely can’t be far behind.

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