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Glowing trees could replace street lights


Posted on Saturday, 16 December, 2017 | Comment icon 19 comments

Imagine reading a book by plantlight. Image Credit: YouTube / MIT
By embedding nanoparticles in leaves, scientists at MIT have created plants that glow in the dark.
The breakthrough, which could pave the way for environmentally-friendly public lighting solutions that don't even require electricity, has the potential to revolutionize how we light up our homes and cities.

Creating the glowing leaves involved immersing the plants in a special nanoparticle-based solution and exposing them to high pressures.

Right now the plants are only able to glow in the dark for around four hours, however researchers are looking to expand on the idea and create larger plants that glow indefinitely.

"Our target is to perform one treatment when the plant is a seedling or a mature plant, and have it last for the lifetime of the plant," said study senior author Professor Michael Strano.

"Our work very seriously opens up the doorway to streetlamps that are nothing but treated trees, and to indirect lighting around homes."


Source: Independent | Comments (19)

Tags: Nanoparticles, Plants, Trees

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by aztek on 21 December, 2017, 1:51
N. Tesla showed us 100 years ago how to turn night into day, it was bad idea then and it is bad idea now, natural world relies on changes (day night)some animals are active at night some during the day.
Comment icon #11 Posted by taniwha on 21 December, 2017, 4:15
I think the trees only turn on during the night
Comment icon #12 Posted by aztek on 21 December, 2017, 14:50
yea, i kinda figured that , that is why i said it is bad idea to disrupt natural cycles. as in turning night into day.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Piney on 21 December, 2017, 17:22
Circadian rhythms. That clock should not be disrupted in any organism. Including trees.
Comment icon #14 Posted by BorizBadinov on 21 December, 2017, 18:21
What about all the nocturnal creatures that like to sneak about in the dark, or hide in it. I think somebody watched Avatar one too many times. Light pollution is already a huge problem. Over the years it has become harder and harder to watch the sky as cities spread. Soon we wont see stars anywhere with the naked eye.
Comment icon #15 Posted by The Black Ghost on 21 December, 2017, 21:35
And then it was winter and all the leaves died, and hundreds of people got in car accidents.
Comment icon #16 Posted by KibyNykraft4 on 24 December, 2017, 3:54
BorizBadinov What the h*ll are you talking about? :) This is not lighting up the whole rainforest in Africa and South America, but lighting up local areas like offices ,parks, one small room etc from plants that are nearby
Comment icon #17 Posted by KibyNykraft4 on 24 December, 2017, 3:56
People seem to get into a lot of car accidents anyway. Yesterday a five year old girl died on the road in west Norway. Even in rather scarcely populated areas it happens often. We should ask ourselves why the **** we do not have more developed and safer, greener etc transport systems by now?
Comment icon #18 Posted by toast on 24 December, 2017, 8:56
Cars are a safe transport system, its the drivers who cause accidents. I would say nearly 50% of all driver`s have no clue about how to handle a vehicle in extreme situations like emergency breaking plus dodging actions.
Comment icon #19 Posted by BorizBadinov on 25 December, 2017, 19:26
Fair point. What they are doing right now is enhancing a single plant at a time. What they are talking about doing for future implementations would likely involve genetic manipulation, as in replicating cells so the plant keeps glowing its entire life. While I don't really think glowing plants are all the dangerous to us physically there are forestry implications should these plants be able to reproduce. I realize that's not the case at this very moment, but it is something we need to consider when tweaking nature. Even small changes can have a huge impact to ecosystems. What if these nano par... [More]


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