Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have made plants that glow life fireflies in the dark. I’m serious. The did this by injecting some very tiny special particles into the leaves of a watercress plant…. While I would like to know what on earth possessed them to do this in the first place, I also admit that the result is fascinating. Though the treated watercress did not give off enough light for human eyes to read, it did light the page. The MIT team thinks that if they continue their experiments, they could improve this enough so plants could provide “lights bright enough to illuminate a workspace, or to provide low-intensity indoor lighting, or to even transform trees into self-powered streetlights.”
Michael Strano of MIT said, “The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp – a lamp that you don’t have to plug in.”
Though I wonder what plants think of this, I couldn’t find one willing to comment.
Mr. Strano is the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study, further added, “The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself.”
Apparently their method works on any type of plant…. I am now staring at our Christmas tree and wondering about the possibilities… After all, the MIT team plans on developing a way to paint or spray the particles onto plant leaves, so they can transform trees and other large plants into light sources. Just think what one could do with this concept at Christmas…
Mr. M =^.^=
PS: If you’re interested in learning more about this, the study “A Nanobionic Light-Emitting BPlant” was published in Nano Letters.