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18-Mar-2019

Infrared Vision Given To Animals By Researchers

It has been proven over time that even those humans who happen to have the perfect vision, in some ways remain blind. However; certain animals and birds in some cases can see better than humans. For instance, in the case of birds and snakes. While on one hand, birds can see ultraviolet light, on the other hand, snakes can detect infrared. Both these light cannot be detected by humans as we lack the appropriate retinal cells for it.

It might soon be possible for people to be able to view these, with collaborative efforts of the researchers at University of Massachusetts Medical School and University of Science and Technology of China. Furthermore, their efforts may also lead to new therapies designed to help people suffering from a variety of retinal diseases to restore their lost or fading eyesight.

The researchers managed to make it possible for a group of rats selected for the study to see infrared light. Infrared light is not detected by most animals, and the few that can detect it, cannot do a very good job of it. The rats were able to successfully see infrared light with the ldquo;nanoantennairdquo; that the researchers injected into their eyes and attached to photoreceptors using a lectin protein conjugated nanoparticle developed by the researchers.

Once illuminated by infrared light, the fluorescent particles called nanoantennae start glowing which made the mice able to see the glow just as normal light. It is noteworthy that their normal vision was not affected mainly because the mice were not able to really see infrared light, instead just green light. The animals were thus able to not only witness the visible spectrum but also ldquo;imagerdquo; in infrared simultaneously.

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Last Updated: 20-Mar-2019