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Thread: Will Glowing Plants Replace Lightbulbs?

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Will Glowing Plants Replace Lightbulbs?



    *Snip*

    "The things that we make out of plastic and circuit boards -- can we replace those with a living plant?"

    One of his latest projects has been to make plants glow in experiments using kale, watercress, rocket and spinach. By embedding nanoparticles into watercress leaves, Strano's team found that they could create a faint light for three-and-a-half hours.

    In the study, the leaves were first immersed in a solution of nanoparticles and then exposed to high pressure, which induced the particles to enter the leaves through pores called stomata.

    Once inside, the nanoparticles released luciferin, a light-emitting compound, and luciferase, an enzyme that works on luciferin to make it glow. In this way, the light was powered by the metabolism of the plant itself.

    "Plants harvest energy from the sun and stores it as sugar inside the plant," said Strano. "What we're doing is taking some of that stored chemical energy and diverting it into illumination."

    The light, about one-thousandth of the amount needed to read by, is just a start. The technology, Strano said, could one day be used to light interiors or even to turn trees into self-powered street lamps.

    In the future, the lab hopes to develop a version of the technology that can be sprayed onto plant leaves or saplings in a one-off treatment that would last the plant's lifetime. The engineers are also trying to develop an on and off "switch" where the glow would dim when exposed to daylight.

    Lighting accounts for about 7% of the total electricity consumed in the US. Since lighting is often far removed from the power source -- such as the distance from a power plant to street lamps on a remote highway -- a lot of energy is lost during transmission. Glowing plants could reduce this distance and therefore help save energy.

    But the primary motivation, Strano said, is not saving the planet one illuminated leaf at a time, but rather, aesthetics. "I want to make them, first and foremost, because they're beautiful."
    Could glowing plants replace light bulbs? - CNN Style

    Amazing!

    Your thoughts?
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    Amazing, is the correct word.

    Do the plants come in different watt ratings?

    Do they have an on/off switch?

    If I eat them, will I glow in the dark?
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    Veteran Member TNVolunteer73's Avatar
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    Turning them off would be an issue.
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    Veteran Member DebateDrone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller47 View Post
    Amazing, is the correct word.

    Do the plants come in different watt ratings?

    Do they have an on/off switch?

    If I eat them, will I glow in the dark?
    One would think a plant size and leaf size would have much to do with lumens generated. A banana plant would give off much more light than a violet.
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  5. #5
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Hmmm... from Wikipedia.

    "Using Kickstarter, the project's founders raised $484,000 on June 8, 2013.[1] This was significantly more than the initial target of $65,000.

    Seeds were initially scheduled to be delivered in April 2014. In March 2016, delivery of seeds was forecast for 2016 on the Glowing Plant website.[2] The company encountered difficulty getting plants to emit significant amounts of light, and announced via email December 2017 that it was permanently ceasing operations."

    I'm sure someone will get it to work eventually. Until then, I'll just have to keep plugging my money into perpetual motion machine ventures. One of these days, I'm gonna hit it big!
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  6. #6
    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    I can't see any practical use of this technology. Bioluminescence has aesthetic value, but the amount of light produced would be minimal compared with a simple, cheap LED night-light, which consumes as little as 0.1 watts.

    And as TNVolunteer73 pointed out earlier, nightlights can be switched off as needed.
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  7. #7
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Other than the entertaining novelty of the effort, am not seeing a lot of practical applications coming out if this....
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    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    I bet these plants would be beautiful for home decor...but if one was depending on them for a light source..what happens if you don't have green thumb and can't keep them alive?
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  9. #9
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    I bet these plants would be beautiful for home decor...but if one was depending on them for a light source..what happens if you don't have green thumb and can't keep them alive?
    Uhhh, go buy a lamp....??
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  10. #10
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Although fields of these night-glowing plants would be pretty cool to look at.



    Might mess with the ecosystem though. Some animals/insects depend on the darkness..
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