We demand more data!

Lab Note #13
Aug 24, 2014

Wow, what a crazy week!

We were lucky enough to have a backer post our blog update on Reddit. I hear that the people swooped in and crashed the experiment.com website for a sec :)

Better yet, getting exposed to a very skeptical audience allowed us to hear more about what you guys want to see next. And that's more data! Control data! Charts with labels!

We apologize for that. We got really excited and posted a screenshot. We didn't realize how much people would get excited and want more so soon!

However, I will repost a reply we made to someone in the reddit community stating how our previous post was very unlike a journal data set:

You are totally right. Our quick blog post while we are still engaged in the study is nothing like a peer reviewed journal paper. In fact, we hope that no one, ever, anywhere, attempts to use a simple graphic and a blog post as hard scientific evidence. We see it as a success because we have piles of data from subjects and controls. We do not want anyone thinking that this blog post is a valid substitute for an actual real data set.

Before we get to it, we have a request. Are there any professional ophthalmologists with an ERG device in the LA area who would be willing to get us a quick read on one of our test subjects and our control? We really want to bring you guys the best data and second party verification is always good. Please contact us at projects@scienceforthemasses.org if you can help us out. We are attempting to get an appointment with UCLA to have access to their devices, but anyone who can help, we would be really grateful (also you get to be added to the paper).

Subject A and Control are living in California right now, and A was having weird subjective vision responses to the sunrise. Descriptions of a weird "pumpkin-red" colour in the sky and odd shades of green/blue. Control was not noticing anything like that. So obviously, it was time to get some fresh Farnsworth-Munsell (FM) readings from the test subjects sent in.

Now, if you have read some of the background papers, you will note that one of the ideas put forth was that as the vision shifts to being able to see further into the NIR, we would see a lack of visual ability in the blue/violet range. Basically, the curve shifts to the left and what you get in NIR you lose in blue.

While the FM test can't read into the NIR, we can see how it effects blue/green/violet light vision...

As you remember from the early exams, this type of failure was not present. What we found interesting is that the failure is in a range that is mostly not associated with colour blindness, so a non standard failure.

After many requests for a graph, control comparisons, etc, we have dug through the data and compiled into a normalized chart. Sorry for the lack of error bars. LibreOffice was not being helpful today...

What we are looking at here is a comparison of the A and B spikes on the ERG readout (refer to previous post) average between the data from the test subjects and compared against the average control data. Your A spike is the one that moves below the central line on the reading, the B spike is the one that moves upwards. The further the spike moves, the more excitation.

You can see at the 950nm range, that the test subjects exhibit a larger degree of excitation.

We only have a week left of testing. We hope this data can keep you guys satiated for a bit.

For anyone who hasn't been to scienceforthemasses.org, here is a more comprehensive list of references, though not complete by far:

Wald, George, “The
Porphyropsin Visual System“, The Journal of General Physiology Vol. 22.6

Shantz, E.m., and J. H. Brinkman, “Biological activity of pure vitamin A2“, Journal of Biological Chemistry Vol. 183

Kawaguchi, Riki et al, “A membrane receptor for retinol binding protein mediates cellular uptake of vitamin A”

Millard, Ernest B. Jr., and William S. McCann, “Effect of vitamin A2 on the red and blue threshold of fully dark adapted vision“, Journal of Applied Physiology Vol. 1

Yuem, K.J. et al, “Human plasma carotenoid response to the ingestion of controlled diets high in fruits and vegetables“, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol. 64

Shantz, E.M., “Isolation of pure vitamin A2“, Science Vol. 108.2807

Sun, Hui, “Membrane receptors and transporters involved in the function and transport of vitamin A and its derivatives“, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Vol. 1821.1

Gerlach, T.H., and M.H. Zile, “Metabolism and secretion of retinol transport complex in acute renal failure“, Journal of Lipid Research, Vol. 32

Lamb, Adrian J. et al, “Induction of rapid, synchronous vitamin A deficiency in the rat“, Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 104.9

Barua, A.B. et al, “Structure and synthesis of naturally occurring anhydrovitamin A2“, Biochemical Journal, Vol. 177.3

Suzuki, Tastuo, and Sadao Miyata, “Substitution of porphyropsin for rhodopsin in mouse retina“, Experimental Eye Research, Vol. 46.2

Tee, E-Siong, and C.Y. Lee, Ph. D., “Carotenoids and retinoids in human nutrition“, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 31.1-2


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