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August 20th, 2007
Using a transmission electron microscope (TEM), Kazu Suenaga and colleagues at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) imaged a single retinal molecule by attaching it to a carbon-60 molecule trapped inside a carbon nanotube.
"The dynamic behaviour of retinal is responsible for vision," explained Suenanga. "Our experiment therefore allows us to observe how we see with our eyes at the molecular level. People say that human eyes are one of the most efficient detectors. If we can correctly modify the retinal molecules at the single-molecule level, we may be able to fabricate a device that mimics eyes."
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