MIT researchers made another scientific breakthrough by creating the first glow in the dark plants. They used several types of small plants and combined them with the enzyme found in fireflies, called luciferase. This way, they found a literally green way to light up a room at night.
The glow in the dark plants use the enzymes present in fireflies
People consume a huge amount of electrical energy, so scientists are constantly looking for effective ways to save energy. This time, they thought of creating greener alternatives to desk lamps, and the best way to do it was by using actual plants. After engineering several branches of kale, spinach, watercress, and arugula, they created the first glow in the dark plants.
Their idea was to make these glow in the dark plants work as lamps that didn’t need charging or a constant source of energy. The first step was to use smaller plants, which were easier to combine with the light enzyme. However, their plans are big, and they want to genetically engineer trees to replace outdoor lights.
The plants are still not powerful enough to replace a lamp
Researchers has discovered around 20 percent of energy is consumed by lighting. This is a great warning for our planet, so replacing regular lamps and lightbulbs with glow in the dark plants would work wonders for the environment. This method is 100 percent green, as the plants use the energy produced by themselves to light a dark space.
However, there’s still a long way until this method can replace artificial lighting. So far, researchers have managed to create glow in the dark plants with an autonomy of three hours and a half. Even so, the light they give off is not enough for a person to use it for reading. This means they either have to use more enzymes, or increase the concentration and force of those they use.
Even so, this is a great start for the experiment, and a huge step for the environment. Gradually, we might be able to produce better glow in the dark plants, which would offer us good alternatives to desk lamps.
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