A team of biohackers has injected night vision into a volunteer's eyeballs, allowing that person to see in the dark and detect subjects as far as 50 meters away with a 100 percent success rate.
The California-based independent group, called Science for Masses, injected Chlorin e6 (or Ce6), a natural molecule and a promising photosensitizer usually made from Live chlorella and other green plants, into biochem researcher Gabriel Licina. The group injected a drop (50 microliters) of Ce6 into his eyes and waited until it was absorbed by the retina. One hour later, Licina was ready to test his night vision.
"To me, it was a quick, greenish-black blur across my vision, and then it dissolved into my eyes," Licina told Science Mic.
The biohackers started with a distance of 10 meters using symbols and moving objects. The second test was at a distance of 50 meters, where some of the members stood behind the trees. Licina's night vision results were compared to the control group, which had no night vision.
"Each time, Licina had a 100% success rate. The control group, without being dosed with Ce6, only got them right a third of the time," Jeffrey Tibbetts, the lab's medical officer, told Science Mic.
The experiment was the first time that Ce6 was used on human subjects, although it was successful in animal subjects such as rats. The team plans to continue its experiments using lab equipment in order to get actual measurements.
"Once you get the hard numbers, that's it," Licina said. "You take it and quantify it and write it down, and release it. ... This is how science works. It isn't flashy. But it makes it more accessible. It shows it can be done. If we can do it in our garage, other people can, too."
Licina's night vision was only temporary, but it was good enough to prove that humans can have the ability to see in the dark without using night vision devices. The team believes that its findings can be useful in exploring the possibility of injecting night vision into human eyes to make search-and-rescue missions more efficient in forested areas or hostage situations.