two millennials are barreling towards adulthood at 95 miles per hour. one of them has been coated with the most extravagant paint money can buy, but their steering apparatus is locked up until that coat’s paid off; the other’s brakes have been ripped out mid-trip, the thief yelling, “what, did…
The above is good and true, and the article in reference isn’t new, but neither are the facts. I think our paths aren’t any more or less scary than those of the past, we are just more aware of the shiftlessness of the landscape.
Imagine Reading by the Light of a Plant …
That’s just what Antony Evans and the team behind the Glowing Plant Kickstarter have in mind. And you can help them get there (and get your own glowing plant in return!)
Molecular biologists have used bioluminescence as a laboratory technique for decades. This light-producing reaction (different from the fluorescence given off by jellyfish and other “glowing” organisms like the GFP-labeled tobacco plant above) is stunningly simple, using proteins isolated from fireflies and glow-worms to create light using only oxygen and a molecule called luciferin. I’ve done it myself dozens of times, it’s pretty cool.
Modern synthetic biology techniques give us the power to insert this gene into the genome of almost any organism whose genes we can manipulate. Arabidopsis thaliana, the so-called plant “model organism” is one of those. Using special plant-specific bacteria, we can insert genes into the tiny weed at will. Since every living thing expresses RNA and protein using the same genetic code, all Evans and his team need to do is tweak the precise DNA sequence, letter by letter, to make it work as efficiently in plants as it does in other organisms. It’s harder than it sounds, of course, but well within the realm of the possible.
Their fundraising campaign has already been so successful that they have expanded their goal to making a glowing rose! I’d buy that for a dollar. Visit their Kickstarter to learn more and to get your name on the list for a glowing plant. The Glowing Plant project is also on Tumblr, so go give them some love and follow for more news.
These green-thumbed bio-hackers are imagining a world without streetlights, where we read without a light on our nightstand but instead a glowing plant in our room. I’d like to see that happen.
This is why it is possible we live in the best of all possible worlds. HOW AWESOME IS THIS?!
We never sit here under the weight of all this air, the 5 x 10^18 kg of atmosphere that sits above everyone on Earth, and say “Gosh, that sure is heavy!”
You don’t realize just how powerful that 1 bar (~100 kPa) of pressure is until a train car is filled with steam, allowed to cool, and then implodes ohmygod did that just happen?
For more implosion goodness, check out this awesome video from Veritasium.
shout out to every recent college grad not studying for finals!