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Is it possible to see new colors?

by PIT2
Tags: colors
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DeuteriumDude
#37
Mar17-11, 07:50 PM
P: 35
What do you mean exactly? The aesthetics of everyday life could be completely thrown off. Humans face might be a totally new color. There'd be no going back.
Proton Soup
#38
Mar17-11, 11:11 PM
P: 1,070
Quote Quote by DeuteriumDude View Post
What do you mean exactly? The aesthetics of everyday life could be completely thrown off. Humans face might be a totally new color. There'd be no going back.
i know. but i might see the world more as other creatures see it and gain insight into their behavior. like the way bees see flowers. and surely many other things not anticipated. seeing in the dark might be handy, as well.

would it be completely impossible to create a second virus to change colors again?
bobze
#39
Mar17-11, 11:45 PM
Sci Advisor
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P: 645
Quote Quote by Proton Soup View Post
i know. but i might see the world more as other creatures see it and gain insight into their behavior. like the way bees see flowers. and surely many other things not anticipated. seeing in the dark might be handy, as well.

would it be completely impossible to create a second virus to change colors again?
No, once the gene is inserted there is no way to excise it--We're far, far from the kind of genetic manipulation technology.

I don't think you'd want to volunteer for this kind of "experiment"--Viral gene insertion is essentially random. If the gene were inserted into a cell from a cell line that took a mutational hit in retinoblastoma (a tumor suppressor gene) insertion into the second gene would cause you eye cancers. The solution to said tumors is removal of the eye in question (in sporadic, unilateral cases--bilateral indicates familial type Rb and usually requires removal of both eyes).

So unless cancer is on your bucket list, I'd hold on the voluntary gene therapies
DeuteriumDude
#40
Mar17-11, 11:48 PM
P: 35
Maybe not impossible in principle, but it would be extremely difficult in practice to turn the gene off once it has already been taken up by the cone cells in your retina. Your best bet would be to have it done in only one eye first and see how that goes ... Anyway, I fully agree with you that the idea is nothing short of amazing. It would be like seeing red or green for the first time. I can't imagine what it would be like to have new qualia, and I wonder if the qualia (subjective sensation) would be entirely arbitrary since evolution might not have acted on this synthetic gene. (Presumably, the gene could be written in lab if protein folding predicts what wavelength the opsin with the given amino acid sequence will be sensitive to).

Note that the lens of your eye is opaque to ultraviolet light. Having it removed allows you to see down to 300 nm, but this light just look blue (not a new color). So, no bee vision unless you remove the lens. Infrared is an option though.

Here is the website for the laboratory of the leading researcher in genetic enhancement of color vision. He is working right now to develop gene therapy to cure color blindness. You could write him an email asking for IR vision, but I doubt you'll hear back from him, unless you've got tons of money to offer :D

http://www.neitzvision.com/content/genetherapy.html
Forestman
#41
Mar18-11, 12:44 AM
P: 232
I have read about many NDE's in which people have seen colors that we never see in our day to day life. And once my bother had an OBE while in college. Anyway, while he was out of his body he went to this place that was full of what appeared to be like fractals changing and unfolding. He said that there; that there were colors that he had never seen before, and that did not exist in our world. A voice then told him that he had to go back because it was not his time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB8h5...eature=related
Forestman
#42
Mar18-11, 04:09 AM
P: 232
Not only do people see different colors that don't exist in our world during a NDE, but blind people are able to see as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbtoX3Q5OI
Forestman
#43
Mar18-11, 08:07 PM
P: 232
More about the blind woman's experience of color during her OBE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdexxy0usXM&NR=1
Berry
#44
Mar31-11, 06:53 AM
P: 3
Yes. There are no limits to what is possible, it is all the way it is because of evolution. And you have to keep in mind that in reality, colors don't really exist. Colors only exist when there is someone or something to perceive them. In actuality they are nothing more than wavelengths and photons of light.


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