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Biotech Earth Science

Genetically Modified Plants To Produce Natural Lighting 328

kkleiner writes "A team has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to develop sustainable natural lighting by using a genetically modified version of the flowering plant Arabidopsis. Using the luciferase gene, the enzyme responsible for making fireflies glow, the researchers will design, print, and transform the genes into the target plant. The project, which was recently launched on Kickstarter, has already raised over $100k with over a month left to go."
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Genetically Modified Plants To Produce Natural Lighting

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  • Sustainable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:03PM (#43577389)
    Energy will come from sun, so the idea is basically to store it as ATP and/or glucose, and release it as light using luciferase. Is it efficient? More efficient than solar cell/battery/LED? At least it has a point: this energy storage system will need no rare element, and it will be disposable without generating any solution.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:03PM (#43577391)

    Just like burning fossil fuels at an exponential rate, nothing could possibly go wrong!

  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:27PM (#43577523)

    Say goodbye to Earthbound astronomy.

  • Re:No more GMO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:37PM (#43577583)

    These bastards are going to eventually kill the human race. GMO corn, wheat, canola, etc...is already in the food supply. Go to google and type in "gmo tumors" or "gmo infertility" to research for yourself.

    Yup, I sure did. In all the whack-a-doodle sites, it was ZOMG You eat this shit and ye shal surely DIE. DIE a Horrible Tumor infested death!

    Oh...... Wait..... CRIIGEN, an organization devoted to lobbying against GMOs Guaranteed to be honest and report only the truth.

    Oh...... Wait...... The "researchers" Joel de Vendomois, is a homeopath, Seralini is the other scientist.

    Yup, Homeopathy, that's the ticket.

    By golly, this is sounding a lot like the anti-vaccine crowd, first degree murderers in my book.

    Especially fun is that the Rats that they fed the fucking roundup pesticide live longer than any of the other rats.

    Why don't you take up something with more credibility - like creation science.

  • Re:Mosquitos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:47PM (#43577639)

    But how long before the gene dies out? Glowing mosquitoes make easy targets. Unmodified ones will have a distinct genetic advantage.

  • Natural? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:57PM (#43577685) Homepage

    I don't think that means what they think it means.

  • Re:Mosquitos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Sunday April 28, 2013 @09:58PM (#43577689)
    If not having the gene provides a survival advantage to the mosquito, expect all your efforts to be for nothing until you understand natural selection a little better.
  • Re:No more GMO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @10:58PM (#43577895)

    Sounds like you read the Forbes article [forbes.com] and are just repeating what they said.

    Especially fun is that the Rats that they fed the fucking roundup pesticide live longer than any of the other rats.

    Just because they didn't get cancer from drinking the pesticide doesn't mean the pesticide-resistant GMO crops are safe.

    And that's really the problem with GMO, testing sucks. There are very few, if any, meaningful and rigorous tests. Lots of short term test and tons of grandfathering in genes because they came from other organisms where they were not a problem. But when it comes to comprehensive testing that could reassure the general population of the safety of GMO crops, there just isn't any.

    Given the history we have with things like thalidomide, DDT, leaded gasoline, fen-phen, etc it is not unreasonable that people be genuinely concerned about GMO crops, especially given how widespread they've become with such little public notice. Dismissing those concerns as the equivalent of creation science is at least as bad as creationism itself because it is just another misplaced faith.

  • Re:Sustainable? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aXis100 ( 690904 ) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @11:20PM (#43577987)

    Let me know when you can grow a solar panel, batteries, charge controller and an LED from a seed.

    Efficiency is irrelevant if the components are cheap/renewable and the input power would be wasted anyway.

  • Re:No more GMO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by locopuyo ( 1433631 ) on Monday April 29, 2013 @12:08AM (#43578159) Homepage
    The big problem with pesticide resistant crops isn't that the are genetically modified, it is that they use a ton of pesticide on them. The people eating them get more pesticide in their system. Pesticide is not something you want to eat.
  • Re:Sustainable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philip.paradis ( 2580427 ) on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:36AM (#43578911)

    The difference is that you pay to grow one plant, then it replicates on its own until you have millions of them. So you pay for the first plant, then the rest are essentially free.

    Tell that to Monsanto [wikipedia.org].

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.