Science Channel - InSCIder

31 Mar

Glow-In-The-Dark Trees Could Replace Street Lights One Day

In the not-so-distant future, your evening walk could be lit by gently glowing trees rather than standard street lights.

At least, that was the concept presented by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde at the South by Southwest festival this year.

Roosegaarde took examples from biomimicry -- "What can we learn from nature?" -- to develop his innovative idea: creating bioluminescent plants.

"When you have a jellyfish deep, deep underwater it creates its own light," Roosegaarde explains in the video. "It does not have a battery or a solar panel or an energy bill. It does it completely autonomously. what can we learn from that?"

"I mean, come on, that will be incredibly fascinating to have these energy-neutral but at the same time these very poetic landscapes," Roosegaarde says in the video.

Dezeen explains that Roosegaarde and collaborator Alexander Krichevsky create the glow-in-the-dark plants "by splicing DNA from luminescent marine bacteria to the chloroplast genome of a common houseplant, so the stem and leaves emit a faint light similar to that produced by fireflies and jellyfish."

(The New York Times notes that some environmental groups have denounced the project for "fear that malicious organisms may be created, either intentionally or by accident.")

If you're thinking Avatar, you're not alone but we want to know:

What do you think of this eco-friendly light source?

Almost as cool as a glowing tree: riding a bioluminescent wave. Check it out:

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h/t The Huffington Post

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