Author Topic: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant  (Read 712 times)

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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« on: July 15, 2013, 01:26:51 am »
Using crowdsourced funding, some scientists are working on creating a bioluminescent plant. The article features a video with scenes from Avatar, which as we all know, features lots of bioluminescent plants. This article is from Smithsonian magazine.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ideas-innovations/Creating-a-New-Kind-of-Night-Light-Glow-in-the-Dark-Trees-215077381.html

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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 03:11:46 am »
That's very interesting! Bioluminescent trees as streetlights, what a plan! :o :D

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Offline Yaknun

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 04:39:02 am »
It is phantastic !!!!!    :D :D :D
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 04:21:21 pm »
Bioluminescence takes a lot of energy, though. Most bioluminescence is powered by breaking a dioxetanedione ring or ring-like structure in a luciferin molecule, that contains an unstable oxygen-oxygen bond. When this bond spontaneously breaks, enough energy is released to make an electron jump enough orbital levels to emit light when it falls back to its rest orbit. Most other chemical reactions in life (except maybe photosynthesis) do not require this kind of energy. The plant will have to supply a lot of its precious ATP to power this reaction, and ATP is in especially short supply at night, when a plant has to use its stored energy reserves to create it (plus consuming much more oxygen that normal at night. Plants use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide at night.). A mechanism to 'recharge' luceferin molecules also needs to be present, as the molecule is altered during the light-emitting reaction. So, this is a interesting, novel idea, but I don't know if a plant can sustain this kind of energy draw and be viable.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 04:26:59 pm by `Eylan Ayfalulukanä »

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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 04:26:09 pm »
No pollution, no danger for the environment? Great!
Nice idea! In the future, we'll maybe see a great show of that.

Offline Kamean

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 05:20:58 pm »
Fantastic! :D
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 01:20:59 am »
What effects have these bioluminescence trees on the natural environment e.g behavior of animals?

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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 02:40:05 am »
I'll sum it up this way: There are absolutely no lights on in the zoo for nighttime, except around the main building.

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Offline Raiden

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Re: Scientists are creating a bioluminescent plant
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2014, 12:57:30 pm »
Old thread, but this is a bad idea.

Horizontal gene transfer happens all the time, and all it would take is one "leak" for the gene to spread to other plants or even other organisms. Life on this planet is adapted to dark nights; the only serious bioluminescence happens in the ocean, and it's still just little flashes and dots here and there. There's a reason why light pollution from cities is a problem; it confuses bats, birds, and all manner of insects, it causes whales to accidentally strand themselves on beaches, and it drives sea turtles away from nesting sites.

Many of these problems are due to the fact that without natural sources of light at night, animals on this planet have adapted to use the moon and stars to navigate; this is why moths fly into streetlights at night, and why whales will sometimes get stuck on beaches near developed coastlines. There is even evidence that scorpions use the stars to navigate outside their burrows at night.

Bioluminescence is a cool trait, but it is not our place to play musical chairs with the genomes of other organisms just suit our fancy.
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