Mice see red for the first time


SOME lab mice are enjoying life in technicolour thanks to genetic engineering. While normal mice can perceive ultraviolet light and most of the colours we can see, they cannot see red. To extend their visual range, Michael Crognale and Samir Deeb at the University of Washington in Seattle gave a group of mice the gene for human long-wave photopigment, the protein that responds to red light. The engineered mice can see the largest range of colours of any mammal—20 per cent wider than humans. Last week, Deeb told a meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
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