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Genetically Modified Plants To Produce Natural Lighting

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the glowing-sidewalks dept.

Biotech 328

kkleiner writes "A team has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to develop sustainable natural lighting by using a genetically modified version of the flowering plant Arabidopsis. Using the luciferase gene, the enzyme responsible for making fireflies glow, the researchers will design, print, and transform the genes into the target plant. The project, which was recently launched on Kickstarter, has already raised over $100k with over a month left to go."

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328 comments

Mosquitos (5, Funny)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year ago | (#43577301)

They need to do this to mosquitoes, let the modification spread around several generations and make a better world ...

Re:Mosquitos (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577329)

meh. How about nignogs and beaners? They spread more rapidly than mosquitos and aren't useful for anything else.

Re:Mosquitos (2)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#43577527)

Combine that with laser pistols with enough umph to zap these shiny mosquitoes and then you have something entertaining, too.

Re:Mosquitos (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577639)

But how long before the gene dies out? Glowing mosquitoes make easy targets. Unmodified ones will have a distinct genetic advantage.

Re:Mosquitos (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43577689)

If not having the gene provides a survival advantage to the mosquito, expect all your efforts to be for nothing until you understand natural selection a little better.

Re:Mosquitos (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#43577701)

how about a male Y linked trait that causes 100% male offspring

Just say NO to GMO (5, Informative)

RussR42 (779993) | about a year ago | (#43577305)

Just kidding. Here's the Kickstarter [kickstarter.com] Link.

Re:Just say NO to GMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577361)

If you eat this, will your shit glow in the dark?

Re:Just say NO to GMO (5, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#43577407)

One way to find out.

And you just added something to my list of things to try.

Re:Just say NO to GMO (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577669)

Watching AC shit?

Re:Just say NO to GMO (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43577715)

Watching AC shit?

On this site, we are all watching AC shit, and registered users' shit, and corporate shills' shit, for fifteen years already.

Re:Just say NO to GMO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577391)

Just like burning fossil fuels at an exponential rate, nothing could possibly go wrong!

Re:Just say NO to GMO (5, Funny)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year ago | (#43577459)

This is GMO I can truly appreciate. Of course, I would also support development of gigantic venus-flytraps that are self-mobile...

Re:Just say NO to GMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577519)

Not sure if reference to triffids or simply calling for genocide of flies

Re:Just say NO to GMO (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577811)

At some point in the not too distant future technology will advance enough for a grad student to transplant the gene to produce THC into some other plant. I vote for <URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae> Glowing plants are just the beginning.

Re:Just say NO to GMO (3, Funny)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#43578041)

Plants? Ok, how about potatoes, that way they could make them into chips, get high and solve the munchies problem all at once. :)

So long as we're at this, do it to cows also. Not for the burgers, rather the milk. THC bearing cheese on the burgers, and THC milkshakes. (Talk about happy cows.)
Then you could make a fast food place specializing in stoner food.
I can imagine so many bad jokes along these lines, but I'll leave the rest to your imagination. :)

Dah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577327)

Toot!

Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43577355)

While I think this is pretty cool and all (Avatar anyone?), once people get a hold of the fact that the enzyme is called 'Luciferase', things could get rather warm for the company (at least in the US).

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43577427)

It brings light. It's a very deliberate and literal biblical reference. :)

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43577517)

Surprisingly, there's a "Morningstar Christian Bookstore" near where I go for "big-city" shopping.

They've been there a while, so probably nobody knows/cares.

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43577765)

What's to know? What's the issue with it?

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577843)

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!

Isaiah 14:12. The entire chapter is not very cheery, and could be read as a pronouncement against the Devil, a fallen angel.

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (2)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#43578051)

The name is derived from Lucifer, the root of which means 'light-bearer' (lucem ferre).

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43577445)

Crafty. I'm certain there's a Water Boy joke in there somewhere, but I'm taking the high ground here Annakin: the "light bearer" gene shows interesting promise. On the speculative side, do you suppose there are fewer babies named Lucifer or Adolf?

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (1)

Alsee (515537) | about a year ago | (#43577627)

once people get a hold of the fact that the enzyme is called 'Luciferase', things could get rather warm for the company (at least in the US)

We could simply rename the enzyme.
I'm sure something like 'Obamase' would solve the problem.

-

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year ago | (#43577681)

once people get a hold of the fact that the enzyme is called 'Luciferase', things could get rather warm for the company (at least in the US)

We could simply rename the enzyme. I'm sure something like 'Obamase' would solve the problem.

-

Could we rename the enzyme? Yes we can.

Thank you, and I'm not even an American...

Re:Going to Hell in a (brightly lit) Handbasket (5, Interesting)

JabberWokky (19442) | about a year ago | (#43577779)

We could simply rename the enzyme.

Hey, it worked for Rapeseed oil: when they cultivated it, they renamed it Canola oil.

Personally... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577367)

...I think we should create a custom disease to eradicate middle eastern peoples and askenazi jews.

Sustainable? (5, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43577389)

Energy will come from sun, so the idea is basically to store it as ATP and/or glucose, and release it as light using luciferase. Is it efficient? More efficient than solar cell/battery/LED? At least it has a point: this energy storage system will need no rare element, and it will be disposable without generating any solution.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43577393)

Energy will come from sun, so the idea is basically to store it as ATP and/or glucose, and release it as light using luciferase. Is it efficient? More efficient than solar cell/battery/LED? At least it has a point: this energy storage system will need no rare element, and it will be disposable without generating any solution.

I meant pollution, no solution.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

Doubting Sapien (2448658) | about a year ago | (#43577481)

The solution to pollution is dilution. - with apologies to Dr. Loh.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

robot256 (1635039) | about a year ago | (#43577887)

But there's only so much you can dilute on our tiny little planet...

Re:Sustainable? (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43577579)

These stuff are just decoration, they glow nicely but don't produce enough light to illuminate anything.

Re:Sustainable? (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43577625)

Yes indeed. In fact it might actually screw the plants up and cause them to think it's daytime. Personally, I think it would be a better prospect to do this in a fungus. Some of them already glow a little [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Sustainable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577783)

Good we can use them to guide people on stairs in dark rooms like movie theaters.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#43577855)

Except they'll die because they don't get enough sunlight to grow. These are cool novelties, not practicalities.

Re:Sustainable? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43577587)

Why would efficiency be a concern?
Plant seeds, get a plant that stores energy of the sun to light up the paths at night.
Where is the efficiency issue? How could manufacturing a battery and solar cell possibly compete with growing a self replicating plant.

There may be a ecological concerns, but efficiency isn't even an issue.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577759)

I believe "dead" is the clinical term for innificient organisms,

Re:Sustainable? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43577901)

I believe "dead" is the clinical term for innificient organisms,

Not necessarily. Some organisms live at the edge of sustainability, but most have plenty of slack to be somewhat inefficient.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#43577873)

There may be a ecological concerns, but efficiency isn't even an issue.

It is if you want to have useful lighting. If the plant is too inefficient then it will not be able to produce enough enzyme to create a useful light.

Re:Sustainable? (3, Funny)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#43578065)

Well, they could always try to engineer an alternate source of energy. Of course, that may end up with a plant that need to eat stray animals every hour or so. 0.o

Re:Sustainable? (5, Informative)

lazybratsche (947030) | about a year ago | (#43577643)

This was my first concern. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations:

Photosynthesis is pretty lousy in terms of thermodynamic efficiency. About 1% of the light that hits a plant is converted to useful chemical energy. The plant will have to use most of that energy for its metabolic processes. Luciferase itself is a very efficient enzyme, however, so I'll generously assume that 10% of the energy that the plant captures can be turned into useful light. So the overall efficiency can't be much higher than 0.1%. By comparison, solar cells are around 10% efficient, and LEDs 20%, so at first glance the luciferase plant seems to be an order of magnitude less efficient than the solar powered flashlight my in-laws gave me for christmas.

In absolute terms, there is about 100 watts/meter^2 of energy in sunlight. If you've got a one-square-meter window full of the hypothetical plants sitting in sunshine all day, let's say they can absorb 1500 watt-hours, and then convert 1.5 watt-hours into useful light. That'd be comparable to running a 5-watt LED for an hourish, which could be useful if you could turn the luminescence on and off at will. But if the plant is glowing all night and only a portion of the light is emitted in a useful direction, maybe the window-full-of-plants would give off light comparable to the little cluster of LEDs on the front of my computer. So overall I'd say that the idea is not completely impossible, but still totally impractical.

Re:Sustainable? (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43577837)

Impractical, yes. But landscape with these things. Average 12 hours of light 12 hours dark, and you get 0.1% of the light that falls on the ground generated overnight. so 1000W becomes 1W, and that would be enough to line a hedge with, but not enough to read by at night. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight#Composition_and_power [wikipedia.org] for the power number.

Re:Sustainable? (1, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | about a year ago | (#43577987)

Let me know when you can grow a solar panel, batteries, charge controller and an LED from a seed.

Efficiency is irrelevant if the components are cheap/renewable and the input power would be wasted anyway.

Re:Sustainable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43578003)

Photosynthesis is more like 5% or so

Re:Sustainable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577961)

Well, it'll be more efficient than letting plants absorb sunlight, then die, then get covered by rock, then compress them for a few million years where they are converted to coal/oil, then pump that out of the ground, then burn it in a power plant, transmit the power to an LED, then have the LED convert that into light. Nuclear power might be more efficient, unless you count the geological and solar energy necessary to create uranium. A solar panel, capacitor, and LED would probably beat it in raw energy efficiency, but plants grow more efficiently than those three items can be manufactured. All that said, the amount of light produced is probably similar to a night light, not a desk lamp, so it's a moot point.

No more GMO! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577415)

These bastards are going to eventually kill the human race. GMO corn, wheat, canola, etc...is already in the food supply. Go to google and type in "gmo tumors" or "gmo infertility" to research for yourself.

Re: No more GMO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577429)

No, you had it right the first time...

Re:No more GMO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577439)

You sound like an idiot.

Re:No more GMO! (4, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#43577583)

These bastards are going to eventually kill the human race. GMO corn, wheat, canola, etc...is already in the food supply. Go to google and type in "gmo tumors" or "gmo infertility" to research for yourself.

Yup, I sure did. In all the whack-a-doodle sites, it was ZOMG You eat this shit and ye shal surely DIE. DIE a Horrible Tumor infested death!

Oh...... Wait..... CRIIGEN, an organization devoted to lobbying against GMOs Guaranteed to be honest and report only the truth.

Oh...... Wait...... The "researchers" Joel de Vendomois, is a homeopath, Seralini is the other scientist.

Yup, Homeopathy, that's the ticket.

By golly, this is sounding a lot like the anti-vaccine crowd, first degree murderers in my book.

Especially fun is that the Rats that they fed the fucking roundup pesticide live longer than any of the other rats.

Why don't you take up something with more credibility - like creation science.

Re:No more GMO! (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43577895)

Sounds like you read the Forbes article [forbes.com] and are just repeating what they said.

Especially fun is that the Rats that they fed the fucking roundup pesticide live longer than any of the other rats.

Just because they didn't get cancer from drinking the pesticide doesn't mean the pesticide-resistant GMO crops are safe.

And that's really the problem with GMO, testing sucks. There are very few, if any, meaningful and rigorous tests. Lots of short term test and tons of grandfathering in genes because they came from other organisms where they were not a problem. But when it comes to comprehensive testing that could reassure the general population of the safety of GMO crops, there just isn't any.

Given the history we have with things like thalidomide, DDT, leaded gasoline, fen-phen, etc it is not unreasonable that people be genuinely concerned about GMO crops, especially given how widespread they've become with such little public notice. Dismissing those concerns as the equivalent of creation science is at least as bad as creationism itself because it is just another misplaced faith.

Re:No more GMO! (5, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year ago | (#43577817)

Go to google and type in "gmo tumors" or "gmo infertility" to research for yourself.

Wow. While I was at it, I googled "measles and autism" and "moon landing hoax."

After all, they can't put anything on the Internet if it isn't true. [youtube.com]

energy? (1)

aleator (869538) | about a year ago | (#43577417)

this project does not show any calculations as of where the plants should aquire enough energy to give enough light when needed. to get 1000 lumen from a source, one has to generate enough photons first. also the heat produced goes where? is it not harmful to the plants? nobody yet has evaluated or tested what goes on exactly when you have a plant producing light and also consuming it at the same time. ... and we also do not know how our bodies like the firefly luciferase when consumed - any firefly eating people around to enlighten us?

Re:energy? (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year ago | (#43577483)

Did you ever drink the contents of a glowstick when you were a a kid?

I'll give you three guesses as to the source material for their development.

glowsticks do not contain any proteins (1)

aleator (869538) | about a year ago | (#43577501)

glowsticks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glow_stick [wikipedia.org] have no luciferase inside, sorry. most of them are actually very much void of proteins.

Re:energy? (4, Interesting)

danudwary (201586) | about a year ago | (#43577513)

Luciferase genes are common throughout nature. Not just fireflies. It's just where they were studied from first. There's no heat produced - it's essentially the most efficient light source we know of. Far more efficient that anything we can manufacture. The actual reaction is not terribly different from one of those plastic glow sticks, just a biological form of it.

The only problem I see is that I just can't see how it's going to be very bright. I remember a classroom demo where the professor took purified luciferase and the reactants you need, and it lit up and glowed for a while, but petered out pretty quickly. The bio reaction is ATP-dependant, so having a plant with a bright light is going to have to consume tons of energy that the plant would rather be using to maintain normal processes.

Re:energy? (5, Interesting)

Alsee (515537) | about a year ago | (#43577935)

Yeah, my first thought was that it's not going to be very bright. I did a back of the envelope calculation.

According to Wikipedia photosynthesis efficiency is about 3 to 6% of incoming sunlight. Lets call it 4.5%. That's the energy a plant uses to grow and just to keep itself alive - lets assume we can burn about half of that energy for light production without starving the plant itself. In fireflies Lucifer is about 90 to 98 efficient in converting energy into light. Lets say out engineered plant manages 90%. Next let's note that this plant is going to waste energy glowing even during midday sun. That basically cuts in half (or less) the amount of useful energy spend on blowing at night in the dark. Next let's note that the light is going to be generated inside the plant, but only a portion of it will make it out and be visible. The rest will hit internal plant tissue and be absorbed (remember, the very purpose of leaf tissue is to be a good absorber of light). The fraction of light that usefully escapes is hard to estimate, but lets call it 50%.

At this point we're down to about 1/200th.

Peak direct visible sunlight is about 440 watts per square meter. Average from sunrise to sunset will be less than half that. And with the 1/200th factor above we're looking at less than 1 watt of light output per square meter. (Note that we don't need to mess with the leaf surface area, we only need to consider the 2-D cross-section of the plant intercepting the available sunlight.)

The good news is that at this point in our calculation our wattage gets translated into light as if it's 100% efficiency. This means that a modest size BUSH that's 1 meter (or 1 yard) in diameter could, optimistically, glow at night with the equivalent light output of a 20-watt to 40-watt incandescent bulb.

That's probably close to the high end of what's possible, and I doubt their first attempt will be that good, but it is more than I expected. If you have good night vision, and if you sat right up against a bush, it may be just enough to (uncomfortably) read by. If all you have is typical size potted plant you'll only get a tiny fraction of that much light though.... maybe 5% of that.

-

Neat idea... (1)

Solid StaTe_1 (446406) | about a year ago | (#43577423)

I'd have a glowing plant night-light as that's all I could see glowing plants useful for. Things like road-side markers, very low intensity lighting etc... I doubt you could use it for reading or finding your way around in the dark.

Re:Neat idea... (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about a year ago | (#43577661)

It sounds like it would be a useful plant to put along the edge of my sidewalk!

why not classical cloning? (2)

aleator (869538) | about a year ago | (#43577425)

Genome Compiler is a nice tool, but the luciferase gene is since long available to molecular biology and can be just put in the right vector for expressing it in the plants... why making everything more complicated? or do the authors just want to buy the fancy genome complier software for something else? ;)

Re:why not classical cloning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577535)

They own the Genome Compiler company. This is basically a big publicity stunt to show off they can do awesome things with it.

smart! (1)

aleator (869538) | about a year ago | (#43577635)

kickstarters to sponsor marketing of the product of their company? wow, these guys are smart!

Kickstarter for government kickbacks? (1)

servognome (738846) | about a year ago | (#43577433)

I like the project, but I'm skeptical of the whole regulatory problem, which as they mention is more difficult than the science.

Poor choice (1)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#43577437)

Why the hell would they start with a Brassica? The entire genus sucks for this purpose, with scraggly stems having few, small leaves - aka "low surface area" for emitting light.

You want a good plant to turn into a night-light? Go for something like a Chlorophytum, aka the Spider Plant. Lots of surface area, grows fast, impossible to kill (My cats chew one of mine back to the dirt every few weeks, and for three years that thing still keeps trying to come back)...

Instead, they want to modify something slow growing, annual, and "sparse" in the foliage sense? Why bother?

Re:Poor choice (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43577457)

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I think they should try Himalaya Blackberries. They're all over already - cities could save lots of money that currently goes to street lighting.

Re:Poor choice (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43577633)

Having those blackberry vines around would soon mean you would have no passable street s left. They would cut your children to ribbons on the way to school.

I think you would want an evergreen species anyway, not something that drops its leaves in the dark months.

Re:Poor choice (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43577497)

heh, I was thinking exactly the same thing - glowing spider plants could be put all over a house/hut/office plaza. Don't feel like watering it for a couple weeks? No problem.

Re:Poor choice (4, Informative)

kaliann (1316559) | about a year ago | (#43577537)

I imagine that they started with a Brassica because it's one of the most common experimental plants, and there's more genetic information available on it vs. most houseplants. Proof of concept work is best done in a thoroughly understood system, and if you're adding a gene from another phylum, knowing a lot about the organism you are working with helps to control for some variables.

However, I love the idea of a hardier plant with high leaf area!
(I admit to fanciful imaginings of a calm voice announcing, "In the event of a blackout, low level emergency lighting will be noticeable in street-side shrubbery.")

Re:Poor choice (4, Informative)

danudwary (201586) | about a year ago | (#43577549)

Probably because Arabidopsis is one of the most well studied plants in terms of its genetics, and, thus, easier than other plants to genetically modify.

Re:Poor choice (4, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#43577573)

They should use carnivorous plants. Put a few around the yard and you get rid of insects all while lighting it up for free!

Re:Poor choice (3, Interesting)

holmstar (1388267) | about a year ago | (#43577615)

Actually, that would probably work pretty well. Insects are attracted to the light and become plant food.

No one is asking the obvious question (3, Interesting)

tloh (451585) | about a year ago | (#43577585)

How do you control this thing? Normal lights running off electricity can be turned on and shut off with a power switch. If you are going to engineer a whole plant to be a light source, what mechanism will you use to activate and deactivate the enzymatic process? One that is cheap, reliable, and convenient? Always on may be convenient in certain situations, but still wouldn't you want a way to control it? One can well imagine this kind of think wreaking havoc for astronomers (both amateur and professional) who have always fought tough battles against light pollution of the night sky. This can become a nightmare if such plants start growing near prime observation locations.

Re:No one is asking the obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577951)

What do you do with other unwanted plants (aka, weeds)? You pull them up.

Re:No one is asking the obvious question (1)

idunham (2852899) | about a year ago | (#43577969)

Roundup. ;)

Re:No one is asking the obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43578019)

I'll be damned if I have to pay Monsanto every time I want to turn the lights out.

Re:Poor choice (1)

idunham (2852899) | about a year ago | (#43577965)

Probably because it's a pretty standard target for genetic experiments.

And by the way...it may grow slow, but it reproduces pretty fast (you could get 2+ generations in a year, and it produces up to 10,000 seeds per plant...which means potentially 1 transformed plant -> 100 million in a year, though a lot of those would die in reality)

Mustard Family? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577461)

I think that obtaining seeds from these specimens won't be hard in the long run - the Mustard Family is known for being a proliferate group.

I would expect in 2 years after completion, you'll be able to get them on Ebay for $1/100 seeds.

Within 4 years, they'll be sold in every garden store in the US.

Within 10, considered an "invasive plant" across North America.

Within 25, it'll be hard to find a mustard family plant in populated regions of North America that *doesn't* share some "glowing plant" genes.

Within 50, it'll seem weird to get greens at the grocery store that don't glow in the dark.

Re:Mustard Family? Really? (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about a year ago | (#43577743)

Genetically modified Arabidopsis is already considered a plant pest by USDA. And $100k is chicken feed in biotechnology labs; that money won't last long and accomplish very little.

Re:Mustard Family? Really? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43577869)

Eventually, refrigerator lights will be eliminated! Glowing lettuce for everyone!

Well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577523)

Say goodbye to Earthbound astronomy.

"Genetically modified flowering plant" (1)

olip85 (1770514) | about a year ago | (#43577539)

In other news, Plants vs. Zombies 2: Plants are Zombies, is scheduled for release at the end of the year.

maintenance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577541)

So I go on vacation for a few weeks and when I get home my lights don't work anymore? How much energy will go into watering, fertilizing, weeding, etc.? How many holes will I have to poke in my home's insulation to let in enough daylight to sustain and "charge" the plants? We typically use 4 times as much energy for heating and cooling than we do for lighting. This sounds like a fun hobby, but ultimately a net energy waster. It could be useful for landscaping and marking runways.

Why is this a kickstarter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577563)

Sounds like they're just selling you something that's already been done instead of doing research and development.

$10,000 Pledge (4, Funny)

xstonedogx (814876) | about a year ago | (#43577589)

Your name (or anything under 30 characters) will be written, in DNA, into the glowing plant genome!!

Just imagine if it was your name that caused the plant to produce an airborne toxin that caused the end of the world. (I'd blame my parents.)

Re:$10,000 Pledge (1)

mephox (1462813) | about a year ago | (#43577947)

That only works if your name is Muad'dib.

Question (1)

MoronGames (632186) | about a year ago | (#43577591)

If one were to eat such a plant, would that person eventually begin glowing?

Re:Question (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43577875)

That'd be silly. Next, you'll tell me that eating pink shrimp is what turns flamingos pink.

fish nightlights (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about a year ago | (#43577609)

I like Sheldon Cooper's idea better.

Re:fish nightlights (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43578075)

Yeah, when I saw that episode, I wondered why no one had actually made that kind of thing.

My guess is it's hard to get fish to glow bright enough to actually produce meaningful lighting.

Franken Bulbs and Glowing Mustard! Run! (4, Funny)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#43577623)

Aren't they worried the pollen will drift and crossbreed with our all natural compact flourescents?

And they're doing it with mustard plants, Mandrake! Mustard for childrens hot dogs!

This Has Been Done Before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577649)

Boring!

Natural? (5, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#43577685)

I don't think that means what they think it means.

US only (1)

RenHoek (101570) | about a year ago | (#43577729)

Seeds will be shipped within the USA only!

Way to make it a global initiative..

Early prototypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577731)

Early prototypes take way too long to turn on , and can only be turned off once.

Cool (1)

anon208 (2410460) | about a year ago | (#43577809)

Did some work with a couple of species of Arabdopsis last summer. The lab sequenced one of genes that the plant uses for glycolysis and compared it across several different species as part of a phylogenetic study. It was a joint effort between our lab and a lady in South Africa.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577937)

Everybody know already some plants could produce light, as seen on Plants versus Zombies. Then someone had a "bright" idea to bring that to real life.

Pfff. Old news ;)

turn the light off (4, Interesting)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about a year ago | (#43577959)

So how do we turn the light off? Move the pot out of the room?

Feed ms Seymor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43577981)

I'm hungry!

Innocent mistake! (1)

linear a (584575) | about a year ago | (#43578033)

Oops. Misread "lighting" as "lightning" in the grant proposal. Nice new weapon system though. Little hard to control...
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