Are glowing plants the answer to our power concerns

Followers of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ will be fond of this 1. Essentially, a group of scientists have presently launched they’d like to provide the planets glowing plants! (Yes, you read that right). The projected tech could, one day, offer us bioluminescent trees rather than streetlights. The scientists’ eventual objective is to produce vegetation so bright that you could study by them in otherwise total darkness.

The thought is to use a type of genetic engineering (specifically: Synthetic Biology, where scientists manufacture the required genes instead of purely splicing them in) so that they can produce a strain of plant which could glow, visibly, during the dark.

Nonetheless, for much of the big talk about replacing streetlamps, getting a potted plant to improve at all, is task one.

Obviously, we’ve seen ‘glowing’ creatures and vegetation before, actually, glowing zebra fish are a man-made creation which can be available in lots of pet stores. In those cases, a fluorescent jellyfish protein is spliced into the animal’s DNA, with the effect of making the creature glow, but only when uncovered to ultraviolet light.

Why we want it:

Dude, glowing plants.

When can we anticipate it?

As I thought, its been made already. A couple of years ago, a new group of scientists made a glowing tobacco plant by infusing it among genes from a type of light-emitting bacterium that lives in the sea. The trouble was, that the light emitted from the plant was not very bright. In fact, it is barely noticeable.

However, it is not all doom and dimness (groan!). This may be the kind of tale that has for sale magazines and garners internet hits, so expect it to receive a lot of coverage. Where there’s coverage, there may be money and where there may be cash, there’s usually rapid growth. Thus far, the group to blame for dreaming up this idea has garnered a lot more than $250,000 on US website ‘Kickstarter.com’, so things are definitely moving onward.

The potential for glowing flower shows, bouquets of dazzling flowers, light-emitting roses for bistros and so forth will guarantee that plenty of people are donating to this idea, with much more planning to put money into the eventual harvest themselves.

…And that’s before we even get the green implications of an power-efficient light supply. The science fiction writer in me can’t avoid, but picture this as a bold first step right into a biotechnological expectations, where everything, plus your computer, is self-sustaining. After all, what could be the Human brain if not the final natural PC?

Nevertheless, I do not know about the ‘Treetlamps’ (I really hope they don’t get called that), but we could expect the essential technology to emerge fairly soon, I believe. This modern method definitely has the possibility to accomplish its goals, nevertheless it’s hard to propose accurately when (or if) that might be. For now, I would give it 10 years, at least.

Cool Factor: 4/5

The environmental purposes on their own are genuinely staggering. In addition, the sights we could be treated to will be basically spectacular. The list of functions for technology like that is as long as your arm and the material is both remarkable and worth discussing at parties. Bring over the glowing trees, I say!