Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis say fish and amphibians can turn on an enzyme in their eyes that supercharges their ability to see infra-red light, sharpening their vision in the muck and mire, the Northern Territory News reports from Australia.
The enzyme, called Cyp27c1, is related to vitamin A, already known to promote good vision, particularly in low light.
Humans have a copy of the gene that controls this enzyme, but it is not active in our eyes. The research was published in the journal Current Biology.
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