Imagine you’re walking down a well-lighted street at night. Now imagine that there aren’t any street lamps alongside you. Instead, glowing trees illuminate your path.
Crazy as that may sound, a team of three scientists in San Francisco are working on making glowing plants a reality through synthetic biology. By taking some genes from luminescent marine bacteria and engineering the bacteria’s DNA so that it’s compatible with a plant’s, the team believes it is possible to eventually make plants and trees of all sizes glow without using electricity.
“The plant that we’re working on to make glow is called Arabidopsis,” explained Antony Evans, the team’s project manager. “It’s got the shortest genomes in the plant world. And it has a reasonably slow life span, so you can do experiments quickly.”
Evans and his two colleagues, synthetic biologist Omri Amirav-Drory and scientist Kyle Taylor, haven’t made their plant glow just yet in their DIY lab, but they say they are close. Still, the teamRead More »from Glowing Plants: Street Lights of the Future?