All posts by Peyton R.

Back in the Saddle…

Happy New Year!

We hope you had an excellent holiday season; we certainly had a productive one! To end our long period of radio silence, here’s what we’ve been up to:

Stimulator Units/ERG Units

Jeff has been pouring his heart, soul & sanity into home-fabricating our stimulator units in his spare time off work. He ran into some issues, including some bleedover into the visible spectrum by some of the LEDs we had originally planned to use, but he now has all four units working and will be shipping them out to us tomorrow, along with the ERG units. Hooray Jeff!

Update: Soylent Purchase & Experiment Start Date

Dear Readers and Backers,

We apologize for the long wait between updates! Rest assured that we have continued working hard on the NIR vision project, and are as dedicated as ever to opening up whole new worlds of perception to the eyes of mankind.

For the past two weeks, Mr. Rob Rhinehart, developer and CEO of the Soylent nutritional replacement company, has been working hard at supplying us with a special VAD retinoid and carotene free formula of his concoction. Due to the batch system of production still firmly entrenched in the food processing industry, Rob has had difficulty gaining traction with the micronutrient supplier he sources the Soylent vitamin blend from—after all, why would anyone intentionally cut vitamin A, a nutrient essential to human life, out of their diet?

Vitamin A2 in the Body–George Wald & the Porphyropsin Visual System

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the long wait between blog posts. Things have been a bit hectic for the SFM team, but that’s no excuse for leaving our readers & backers hanging.

In a previous post, we summarized some of the ways by which the human body obtains, transports, stores, and utilizes retinoids, collectively referred to as vitamin A. In this post, we’ll be discussing in more depth the ways retinol/retinal is used in human vision, and a means to metabolically hack this process using vitamin A2–the focus of our current research project.

The Human Visual System


Vitamin A in the Body – a Beginner’s Metabolic Pathway

The human physiology is an electrochemical machine of astounding complexity. There are many proteins, enzymes, and hormones at play in the human body about which only the vaguest of guesses as to their function can be made. A good start at understanding the human body, however, can be made by understanding what nutrients are required for survival, and what functions they play. As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”, and no machine left long without maintenance will function at the peak of its capabilities.

Now the real work starts….


Thanks to the incredible support of our backers, our crowdfunding campaign has now come to a successful finish! This truly wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors’ support. In fact, more than half of the donations we received were redirected to our project page from pages we hadn’t advertised on. You guys and girls really did an awesome job getting out there and spreading the word, and we owe this exposure–and indeed this whole project–to you. As a side note, we really appreciate the enthusiasm of those of our backers who offered to become test subjects themselves. Unfortunately, however, that’s not within our budget; more importantly, it would be illegal and unethical for us to perform experiments on subjects other than ourselves without the oversight of an IRB.