Quantum Chemistry happening inside your eyes protects against vision loss.

Every color, every flash, every sunray exacts a toll on the light-sensitive tissues at the back of our eyes, producing toxic materials that risk damaging the very cells that allow us to see.

Thankfully, the pigment responsible for darkening our hair, skin, and eyes moonlights as a clean-up crew, mopping up one such dangerous compound before it accumulates into damaging clumps.

An investigation by researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Yale University has revealed the removal process is somewhat unusual as far as biochemistry goes, relying upon a strange quirk of quantum-like behavior.

Lining the back wall of our eyeball's inner surface is a shag-pile rug of light-reactive cells called the retina. Every fiber in this carpet is packed with pancake-like stacks of discs containing a crucial substance that catches photons of light, starting a chain of reactions that results in a nervous impulse the brain interprets as sight.

The very first step in this conversion process is a surprisingly dangerous one. The substance, called retinal, contorts into a shape that interferes with the cell's functions, effectively becoming a toxin.

Source: www.sciencealert.com


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