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05/05/2013 08:17 AM
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n a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie set, scientists are working on engineering plants that glow as brightly as your typical household lamp. Their mix of synthetic biology, genetic sequencing and glowing bacteria promises to produce a new kind of sustainable lighting.

Brain in a Dish Controls Power Grid

If getting plants to glow naturally sounds familiar it’s because this has been in the works for decades. A couple years ago Taiwanese scientists successfully implanted glowing gold nanoparticles called bio LEDs into an aquatic plant. They hoped that glowing trees could one day replace street lamps but still needed to overcome key challenges first. A group the State University of New York also got plants to grow, just not very brightly.

The latest effort strikes me as quite promising. Tech entrepreneur Antony Evans, synthetic biologist Omri Amirav-Drory and plant expert Kyle Taylor are leading the Glowing Plant project. Their approach entails creating bioluminescent plants similar to the ones made at SUNY but getting them to glow brighter with better DNA sequencing and printing.

Their bioluminescent system consists of a protein called luciferase that can break down the fuel to produce light, called luciferin. This process is so efficient that it hardly produces any heat, Amirav-Drory recently told DNews’ Anthony Carboni (video).

Read more at [link to uk-ufo-aliens.blogspot.com]