Why is This Cancer Treatment Giving People Night Vision?

December 16, 2021

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.

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