At some point you’ve probably gotten into the great “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” debate with your friends. What’s best? Flying? Invisibility? Night vision? (And if you haven’t, you should.) Thanks to a team of researchers at Science for the Masses, we could be one step closer to making one of those superpowers a reality.
Earlier this year, inspired by a 2012 patent published by Totada R. Shantha (who lost his medical license for fraud), SfM researcher/guinea pig Gabriel Licina, and registered nurse Jefferey Tibbets team decided to use a solution made from Chlorine e6 (also known as Ce6, it’s a chemical agent found in chlorophyll and rare deep-sea fish that has been used to kill cancer cells), saline, dimethysulfoxide, and insulin to essentially give Licina a taste of true night vision.
Two hours later, once nighttime (and the solution) had set in, the biohackers put it to the test. Licina found he could identify symbols up to 10 meters away and could spot people hiding in a forest hiding up to 50 meters away. In the tests, the solution seemed to work – Licina was able to identify each object and person. They also had four other subjects there, and comparatively, the people without the solution were successful at identifying their targets only one-third of the time.
Now, as Licina confessed to Gizmodo, “Let’s be fair here. It’s kind of crap science.” They didn’t do a before and after test, so Licina might just have great night vision and the drops could have a placebo affect. And, he could have severely damaged his eyes (so far, there have been no adverse affects and the drops wore off by the morning).
But, should their experiments eventually prove to be replicable, safe, and successful, they could be used for search and rescue teams—and could even take night hiking to a whole new level.