Why is this cancer treatment giving people night vision? (superhuman fitness)

C C Offline

INTRO: A type of cancer treatment called photodynamic therapy is giving recipients superhuman night vision. While temporary, the researchers looking into the actual mechanisms behind the unexpected side effect believe their findings may help those suffering from an array of vision limiting conditions, while also proving the increasingly robust nature of molecular modeling software.

Photodynamic therapy is used to kill malignant cancer cells within the eye. The process involves chemicals combined with focused light to attack these malignant cells directly. However, since its inception, patients undergoing the treatment began to see things. In some cases it was an outline or halo in low light conditions, but in many cases the main side effect was the ability to see in the dark.

In 2015, a group of self-professed “bio-hackers” proved the effect by giving one of their team night vision that reportedly allowed him to see over 50 meters distance in total darkness, an effect that lasted for hours.

Now, a group of researchers using sophisticated modeling software and a heavy dose of complex calculations were able to figure out what mechanism is behind this superhuman side effect, and if it can be harnessed to treat people suffering from a range of vision-related conditions... (MORE - details)
Magical Realist Offline
I wonder if those eyedrops optometrists put in your eyes when you get your eyes checked enable nocturnal sight. They dilate the pupils so that more light can come in.
Secular Sanity Offline
(Dec 19, 2021 07:00 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I wonder if those eyedrops optometrists put in your eyes when you get your eyes checked enable nocturnal sight. They dilate the pupils so that more light can come in.

No. I read the paper because I thought it was fascinating. 

"Specifically, one of the chemicals used in this type of cancer treatment called chlorin e6 was interacting with Rhodopsin, a protein already inside the human eye. As this chlorin e6 absorbs the infrared radiation portion of the cancer-killing light, it would react with the oxygen already in the eye tissue to create a highly reactive singlet oxygen. At the same time, the visible light used in the cancer treatment was causing a chemical called retinol to become separated from the Rhodopsin. Once this retinol interacts with the singlet oxygen, it is converted into the electrical signal sent to the brain’s vision center, thereby amplifying the patient’s ability to see in low light conditions."

Pretty cool but then there's this.

No, Biohackers Did Not Just Discover Eyedrops That Give You Night Vision — And using them might damage your eyesight

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