Engineers create plants that glow

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Disir, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk.

    MIT engineers have taken a critical first step toward making that vision a reality. By embedding specialized nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, they induced the plants to give off dim light for nearly four hours. They believe that, with further optimization, such plants will one day be bright enough to illuminate a workspace.

    "The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp—a lamp that you don't have to plug in. The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself," says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study.

    This technology could also be used to provide low-intensity indoor lighting, or to transform trees into self-powered streetlights, the researchers say.

    MIT postdoc Seon-Yeong Kwak is the lead author of the study, which appears in the journal Nano Letters.

    Nanobionic plants

    Plant nanobionics, a new research area pioneered by Strano's lab, aims to give plants novel features by embedding them with different types of nanoparticles. The group's goal is to engineer plants to take over many of the functions now performed by electrical devices. The researchers have previously designed plants that can detect explosives and communicate that information to a smartphone, as well as plants that can monitor drought conditions.



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    I would need those plants to withstand extreme drought. Extreme....
     
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  2. Asclepias
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    Asclepias Work Hard Play Hard

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    Light and plants? What could go wrong with this?
     
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  3. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    Besides my yearly plant genocide from not watering? Deer and other.........creatures?
     
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  4. Pogo
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    First Frankenfoods, now Frankenlights. Yay us. :banghead:
     
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  5. Asclepias
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    I see a science fiction book based on nanotechnology soon.
     
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    Very nice thing, though the plants will have to fight off all the night bugs too.

    And what if the office worker forgets to water them like I?
     
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    Next, humans that glow in the dark. I can see eventual black lights.
     
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  8. anotherlife
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    Good. It will be harder for them to escape from camp.
     
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    Like Asslips?
     

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