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Can you have eyes in the back of your head ?

Posted on Sunday, 3 March, 2013 | Comment icon 13 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.0 Rainforest_harley

Researchers at Tufts University may have the answer following a bizarre experiment with tadpoles.

During the research, scientists removed the eyeballs from the tadpoles of African clawed frogs and then implanted them in to their tails. Using a special color-coded tank it was possible to determine that the new eyes were functioning correctly - the tadpoles were literally able to see out of their behinds. Even stranger, it turned out the eyes weren't connected up to the brain at all yet still appeared to be in full working order.

The research opens up the future possibility of performing transplants that don't require a direct connection to the brain. "There are many implications of this study, but the primary one from a medical standpoint is that we may not need to make specific connections to the brain when treating sensory disorders such as blindness," said study co-author Michael Levin.

"Get ready for custom eyeball transplants for people who absolutely must have eyes in the backs of their heads - or pretty much anywhere on their bodies."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Lord Vetinari on 2 March, 2013, 17:31
Why did they transplant the Eyes onto the Tail, though? If they wanted to be altruistic and help the poor Tadpole see, they might at least have put them at the right end. The ppor thing won't know whether it's coming or going.
Comment icon #5 Posted by freetoroam on 2 March, 2013, 17:32
Very true, and what they come out with is quite appropriate for the place it is exiting!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Yinarchy on 2 March, 2013, 17:44
They don't address the most important question: What happens wheen the tadpole turns into a frog? Can it still see out the eye? Is the eye still on its back?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sundew on 3 March, 2013, 15:36
Well, technically not tails......
Comment icon #8 Posted by wimfloppp on 3 March, 2013, 15:48
my wifes been doing hat for years
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ad hoc on 3 March, 2013, 17:47
The guy was pretty clear:
Comment icon #10 Posted by freetoroam on 3 March, 2013, 17:54
Yes, that I got. But they will still have to try it out on humans at some stage. I can see the potential for it, but playing Frankenstein on other species at this stage is not going to tell them if it will ever work on humans, that would be still to come. If humans want to try these sort of experiments, fine, try it on humans. I darned think about what other mutations they are performing on other species. As I have said, mutating other animals or species is not mans right.
Comment icon #11 Posted by King Cobra 1408 on 4 March, 2013, 0:00
wow That's pretty awesome that they could see behind their tails but also pretty disturbing in the following sense & reasons.why would anyone in their right minds want their eyes in Their back of the head or their behind.also I am strongly against with science in messing around With nature.the only reasons I don't have no problem with science is if its finding natural ways to save endangered species or positive non harmful beneficial reasons behind them and purposes.but science is not to blame its the scientific community that lack morals,ethics and reason and a lock of respect of ... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by godsblade on 4 March, 2013, 7:36
Well, when it matures into a frog, it can see if its own ass is water tight.

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