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Forget bulky goggles: these scientists want to inject night vision straight into troops’ eyeballs
The U.S. military may be working overtime to reduce the weight of a standard-issue pair of night vision googles to the point where it feels like you're wearing nothing at all, but a group of scientists think they've cracked the code of "built-in" night vision thanks to dollop of special particles and a needle to the eyeball.
A group of researchers attending the American Chemical Society's national meeting in San Diego, California this month plan on presenting a method for using ultra-small nanoparticles, injected into the eye, to imbue a subject with the ability to see near-infrared light, according to an August press release.
"When we look at the universe, we see only visible light," Massachusetts Medical School nanoparticle expert and the the project's principal investigator, Gang Han said in the release. "But if we had near-infrared vision, we could see the universe in a whole new way. We might be able to do infrared astronomy with the naked eye, or have night vision without bulky equipment."
According to Popular Science, human vision usually operates within wavelengths between 380 to 700 nanometers. But in February, a paper authored Gang and fellow researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China described how they injected special ""ocular injectable photoreceptor-binding upconversion" nanoparticles that absorb infrared light and produce visible (and therefore perceivable) light into the retinas of lab rats.
The result? The nanoparticles basically created "thousands of tiny infrared goggles inside the rodents' eyes," as The Atlantic artfully explained at the time. "With their technologically augmented retinas, the mice could respond to infrared light that would otherwise have been invisible to them."
VIDEO: UMMS scientists develop technology to give night vision to mammals
This is obviously has fascinating applications beyond combat: As one expert told Stars and Stripes, the temporary nature of the treatment presents less of a risk to the average warfighter than permanent augmentations, and various nanoparticle designs could enable customs officials to detect "smuggled radioactive materials" by eyeball alone.
But despite these applications, it's still a fucking needle to the eye. Am I the only person who actually learned anything from one of the greatest naval minds of the 24th century and his never-ending struggle against his bionic white whale?
No fucking THANK you.
Look, the Army's new Enhanced Night Vision Goggles (ENVG-III) are finally rolling out to soldiers after years in the works, and they only weigh two pounds tops. Call me a traditionalist, but I would much prefer an external headset to getting bunch of shit jammed in my eye — or at least some badass contact lenses.
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.
Florida senators are pushing for Purple Hearts for service members wounded in the NAS Pensacola shooting
Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.
"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.
The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.
When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.
Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.
"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."
That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.