My Eye's On You

What to think about night vision, tetrachromatic vision, and other visual enhancements?

Glenn McGee
Dec 1, 2007

Picture-perfect vision, with lovely dark pupils and irises of any color you want. Who wouldn't want that? Every person who wears glasses or contact lenses, or who just has that classic wish of the pilot or bird watcher - to see just a little bit better, farther, or more clearly at night - or who, vanity of vanities, wants slightly brighter green eyes, would be delighted to hear that stem cell research is moving us closer to the day when eyes might be created in the lab and implantable.

Looming is the prospect of creating human eyes (or at the very least, central components of the eye) for the purposes of replacing, repairing, or regenerating unhealthy or damaged tissue. Scientists are finding pieces of the puzzle, those factors that control the generation of eyes (Nature, 449:1058-62, 2007). As eye researcher Nicholas Dale of the University of Warwick told...