Salmon and other freshwater fish and amphibians supercharge their ability to see red and infrared light. Scientists at the School of Medicine have shown that this evolutionary adaptation hinges on the activity of an enzyme that converts vitamin A1 to vitamin A2, enabling the aquatic creatures to more easily navigate murky waters.
Science textbooks say we can’t see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are longer than the light waves in the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers co-led by Frans Vinberg, PhD, (left) and Vladimir J. Kefalov, PhD, has found that under certain conditions, the retina can sense infrared light after all.