Sunday, 23 June 2013

Are glowing trees the solution to our energy concerns

Fans of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ will like this one. Essentially, a group of scientists have absolutely introduced that they’d like to give the world glowing vegetation! (Yes, you read that right). The projected technology could, one day, offer us bioluminescent plants as an alternative to streetlights. The scientists’ eventual goal is to bring about plants so bright that you could study by them in otherwise entire darkness.

The concept is to work with a form of genetic engineering (particularly: Synthetic Biology, where scientists synthesize the required genes instead of simply splicing them in) in order to create a strain of plant that can glow, visibly, during the dark.

Nonetheless, for all the considerable talk about replacing streetlamps, getting a potted plant to grow whatsoever, is job one.

Obviously, we have seen ‘glowing’ insects and vegetation before, in reality, glowing zebra fish are a man-made innovation that are available in many pet shops. In those periods, a fluorescent jellyfish protein is spliced into the animal’s DNA, with the effect of making the creature glow, but only when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Why we would like it:

Man, glowing plants.

When can we anticipate it?

As I said, it has been completed already. A couple of years ago, a new team of scientists made a glowing tobacco plant by infusing it among genes from a type of light-emitting bacterium that lives within the ocean. The difficulty was, that the light emitted from the plant was not very vivid. In fact, it was barely noticeable.

Nevertheless, it’s not all doom and darkness (groan!). This could be the type of tale that has for sale magazines and garners internet hits, so anticipate it to collect a great deal of coverage. Where there’s coverage, there may be money and where there is cash, there is usually rapid expansion. So far, the crowd responsible for dreaming up this idea has garnered a lot more than $250,000 on US website ‘’, so things are categorically moving onward.

The possibility for glowing flower displays, bouquets of brilliant flowers, light-emitting roses for bistros and so on will make sure that enough people are donating to this idea, with much more planning to secure the eventual harvest itself.

…And that’s before we even get the green implications of an power-efficient light supply. The science fiction writer in me can’t help, but picture this like a bold first step into a biotechnological expectations, where everything, including your computer, is self-sustaining. In the end, what may be the Human brain if not the final biological PC?

Anyway, I do not know about the ‘Treetlamps’ (I really wish they do not get labeled that), but we could expect the essential technology to emerge fairly soon, I think. This new method certainly has the potential to realize its objectives, nevertheless it’s tough to suggest accurately whilst (or if) that might be. For now, I’d give it 10 years, at least.

Cool Factor: 4/5

The environmental functions alone are genuinely staggering. Additionally, the sights we could be treated to would be simply amazing. The list of purposes for tech like that is as long as your arm and also the subject matter is both fascinating and worth discussing at events. Bring over the glowing trees, I say!

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