A team of biohackers from California successfully induced a temporary sense of night vision by injecting a simple chemical cocktail directly onto the eye. Incredibly, it allowed them to see over 160 feet in the dark for a brief period of time.
The group, called Science for the Masses, wanted to see if a kind of chemical chlorophyll analog — Chlorin e6 (or Ce6) — would create the expected effect. This chemical mixture is found in some deep-sea fish and is often used to treat cancer and night blindness.
Back in 2012, a patent was filed by Totada R. Shantha on a mixture that, when absorbed by the retina, would act to induce night vision — the ability to see nearby objects in low light conditions.
The patent holders claimed it was safe to use for treating a condition known as night blindness, but also for improving night vision in healthy people. The Science for the Masses hackers basically used this same formula, but they created their own concoction by adding both insulin and dimethlysulfoxide (which increases permeability) to the saline solution (normally, just insulin is used in conjunction with Ce6 and saline). The compound works by influencing the way our retina’s light-sensing rods work in the dark.