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Glow in the Dark Plants for Sustainable Lighting

Leon Walker

Glowing PlantA team of Stanford-trained PhDs is using web site Kickstarter to raise funding for Glowing Plant, a project that aims to create glow in the dark plants for use as sustainable lighting.

The project aims to put bioluminescence – the production and emission of light by a living organism, such as a firefly – into plants. A video on the Kickstarter page suggests that, when scaled up, such plants could be used to provide street lighting that uses trees instead of street lamps to light the road.

According to Glowing Plant, There are three main steps to the process of designing a glow in the dark plant; design, print and transform.

The design phase includes designing the DNA sequences using Genome Compiler, software which allows the team behind the glowing plants to easily design genetic sequences and order them online. The next phase, print, includes printing the DNA at Cambrian Genomics, a system for laser printing DNA. Lastly, the transformation phase includes transforming the DNA into the target plant in the Glowing Plant lab.

Essentially, the team is using the process described above to insert bioluminescence genes into two flowering plants, Arabidopsis and roses, to make plants that glow in the dark.

As of May 14, 2013, the project had received just over $339,000 of its $400,000 “stretch” goal, according to the Glowing Plant Kickstarter page. The project has just brought in digital marketing company Command Partners to help it meet its goal.

In January, Kickstarter-funded Green Power Resource Management announced plans to to start volume production of its solar powered air conditioner and virtual power plant. The GPRM 100 solar powered air conditioner and virtual power plant runs directly off solar panels, a wind turbine, batteries or the AC power in a home or office. It also provides renewable energy to other devices like a TV, lights, refrigerator or a computer even when the grid is down.



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