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16 декабря 2017, 00:34

See Paradise by the Glow-in-the-Dark Plant Light

Stay on target

And MIT engineers said, “Let there be light,” and there was light—from nanobionic plants.

By embedding specialized nanoparticles into the leaves of particular shrubs, scientists can activate a dim light that lasts nearly four hours.

A few more tweaks, and the researchers believe their glow-in-the-dark greenery could eventually be bright enough to illuminate a workspace (which is a huge step up from the top three lines of a book).

“The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp—a lamp that you don’t have to plug in,” Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs professor of chemical engineering at MIT, said in a statement. “The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself.”

So cool, right?

This technology, according to a study published in the journal Nano Letters, could be used to provide low-intensity indoor lighting, or to transform trees into self-powered streetlights.

To create these amazing plants, the MIT team used luciferase (the enzyme that gives fireflies their famous glow) and the molecules luciferin and coenzyme A. Each component enters leaves through tiny pores and get to work performing chemical reactions and, ultimately, making everything from arugula and kale to spinach and watercress radiate.

Early efforts yielded only 45 minutes of luminescence, which has since improved to 3.5 hours. Currently, one 10-centimeter watercress seedling provides about one-thousandth of the amount needed by which to read.

Glowing MIT logo printed on the leaf of an arugula plant (via Seon-Yeong Kwak/MIT)

Additional adjustments to the concentration and release rates of each component should help boost the amount and duration of light.

Researchers are also eyeing innovative ways to paint or spray the nanoparticles onto leaves, turning everyday shrubbery into temporary bulbs.

“Our target is to perform one treatment when the plant is a seedling or a mature plant, and have it last for the lifetime of the plant,” Strano said. “Our work very seriously opens up the doorway to streetlamps that are nothing but treated trees, and to indirect lighting around homes.”

Once you’ve finished another chapter of your book and want to go to sleep, simply turn off the plant-light by adding nanoparticles carrying a luciferase inhibitor. (I’ll leave it up to MIT to find a better way to market that.)

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Source: https://www.geek.com/science/see-paradise-by-the-glow-in-the-dark-plant-light-1725829/?source