The eye can detect light at wavelengths in the visual spectrum. Other wavelengths, such as infrared and ultraviolet, are supposed to be invisible to the human eye, but Washington University scientists have found that under certain conditions, it’s possible for us to see otherwise invisible infrared light.
Credit: Sara Dickherber
The research was made possible, in part, by the Kefalov team’s development of a tool that allowed the scientists to obtain light responses from retinal cells and photopigment molecules. That device already is commercially available and being used at several vision research centers around the world.
Funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Research to Prevent Blindness, the Norwegian Research Council, the TEAM project financed by the European Union and the Foundation for Polish Science. NIH grant numbers: R24EY021126, R01EY009339, R01EY019312, P30EY002686, P30EY011373 and R44AG043645.
Palczewska G, Vinberg F, Stremplewski P, Bircher MP, Salom D, Komar K, Zhang J, Cascell M, Wojtkowski M, Kefalov VJ, Palczewski K. PNAS Online Early Edition, Dec. 1, 2014 doi:10.1073/pnas.1410162111