Firmware Upgrade from the Eyeball Factory?

Some interesting science news today:

Providing a kaleidoscopic upgrade to creatures that are largely colorblind, scientists have endowed mice with a human gene that allows the rodents to see the world in full Technicolor splendor.

The advance, which relied on imaginative tests to confirm that the mice can perceive all the hues that people see, helps resolve a long-standing debate about how color vision arose in human ancestors tens of millions of years ago. That seminal event brought a host of practical advantages, such as the ability to spot ripe fruit, and unveiled new aesthetic pleasures — autumn foliage, magenta sunsets and the blush of a potential mate, among them.

This is fascinating to me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be colorblind. I’d assume that, if this pans out, many colorblind people would seek out a genetic improvement. That’s only a guess, of course. Still, the capability of the human mind fascinates.

One line in the story made me chuckle.

The work also points to the possibility of curing some of the millions of colorblind Americans — and even enhancing the vision of healthy people, allowing them to experience a richer palette than is possible with standard-issue eyes.

A bit like combat boots or a new company laptop. Are we obligated to discuss who/what issued them as standard? So many questions.

Disclaimer: As a vegan, I’m supposed to be opposed to animal testing in all its forms. For the most part I am. My exceptions are practical and beyond what I care to discuss in this post. In not discussing them, I am offering no approval or disapproval for the animal testing in the article, from which many questions arise. Blah, blah, blah.