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A pigment to see further

People with more yellow pigment in their eyes seem to see further than others, even through haze or atmospheric pollution.

 

By filtering out “blue haze,” i.e., haze in which blue light rays are more dispersed than rays from red or infrared light, the yellow pigments seem to improve vision. In the lab, researchers tested the visibility of distant objects through haze. It took twice as much haze for the objects to disappear from the view of subjects who had more yellow pigment than from the view of others.

 

The presence of this pigment has to do with the accumulation of the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye and helps protect it from long-term damage. The study reveals that this characteristic has probably developed over the course of human evolution because it improves vision.

 

The findings of the experiment show that people with more yellow pigment may have an advantage when it comes to outdoor activities such as flying a plane. To be sure, however, the experiment will have to be reproduced in natural outdoor conditions. 

Sources: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825123319.htm

http://journals.lww.com/optvissci/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2014&issue=09000&article=00010&type=abstract

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