The article that I researched was the article “Bringing’Avatar’-like glowing plants to the real world”. Scientists have discovered howto turn glowing plant, as seen in the movie Avatar,into a reality to help lessen the use of artificial lighting and turn to anatural alternative. Scientists have attempted to used genetic engineering toput genes of luminescent bacteria from the luminescence from fireflies inplants to create glowing tobacco plants.
This created a dull light thatscientists were not able to control, due to the difficulty of disperse theright components into the right locations. Recently, a scientistnamed Michael S. Strano and his team produced nanoparticles that could go tospecific locations of plants. Strano and his team put three differentnanoparticles in watercress and other plants while in a pressurized bath.
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Theseparticles contained luciferin, luciferase, which allows luciferin glow, andcoenzyme A to “boost luciferase activity”. The scientists were able to controlwhere the nanoparticles would go in the plant based on the size and surfacecharge of the particles to create more light. By using an inhibitor to blocksluciferase from allowing luciferin to glow, the plants could also turn off. In anotherarticle called “Engineers Create Plants that Glow”, more details have beengiven about using nanoparticles to light watercress flowers for four hours. Stranoand his team are planning to create plants so bright that they can light up awhole rooms and workplaces, or they can be used to make trees intostreetlights.
The light from the plant is “powered by the energized metabolismof the plant”. Because plants can produce energy themselves and are able to beoutdoors, this makes them a good alternative to artificial lighting.Luciferase, the enzyme that makes fireflies glow, is used in plants to createlight. Nanoparticles contained the luciferase and larger particles contain theluciferin and coenzyme A in order for the particles to get to certain areas ofthe plant. The particles were first put in a solution. The plant is then put inthat solution and is “exposed to high pressure” (Biography in Context) so thatthe particles can go through the stomata and into the cells of the plants.Other experiments have tried to genetically engineer plants to “express thegene for luciferase” (Biography in Context), but that only creates a smallamount of light for.
This new method can be used for all plants. Scientists arelooking for a way to spray the particles on plants, so they can glow. They arealso able to use a luciferase inhibitor to turn off the light, and they arehoping to create plants that can shut off in response to sunlight and theenvironment. EU1 Inan interview about glowing plants called, “People: The science life: A glowinggreen thumb”, a man by the name of Omri Amirav-Drory has not only partaken inthe experimental study, but he has created a kickstart project to fund the projectand create kits for people to grow glowing plants at home. Drory, a scientistand businessman, created a project where he used genetic engineering to createglowing plants with proteins from fireflies. He was able to raise $484,013 tofund the project.
The people who supported him are receiving a kit with seeds,so they can grow glowing plants in their own home. These plants will have a dimglow, but with more exploration, plants will one-day glow as bright asartificial lighting. Besides using luminescence from fireflies, fluorescencefrom jellyfish from the green fluorescent protein (GFP) could be used to createglowing plants because it has been used to created glowing beagles, monkeys,fish, mice, and cats. Creatingplants that produce light will significantly decrease the use of energyworldwide by using an eco-friendly alternative. Lighting uses about 7% ofenergy consumption in the U.
S. and 20% of worldwide energy consumption. Byusing plants that can create light by themselves, without using any energy,people all over the world will be using a lot less energy. This means thatfossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, will be used less, so thoseresources will not run out fast?????? These plants will soon be able to lightup indoor rooms and outdoor spaces. Plants can be used as lamps andstreetlights. With scientists discovering new ways to increase the brightnessof plants and learn how to turn them on and off, plants will soon take over thelighting industry and promote a more environmentally safe alternative toartificial lighting.