Some lucky animals are naturally endowed with bioluminescence, or the ability to create light. The firefly, the anglerfish, and a few more surprising creatures use this ability in many ways, including survival, hunting, and mating. Leslie Kenna investigates this magical glow – and our quest to replicate it.
And also the fine folks at MIT are working on glowing plants
You may one day be able to light your home with nothing more than houseplants. It sounds far-fetched, but a group of MIT scientists has turned what sounds like an absurd sci-fi premise into reality.
A “plant nanobionic approach” could allow for “exceptional luminosity and lifetime,” says a group of MIT engineers that has invented glowing plants by introducing chemically interacting nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant.
The specialized nanoparticles include firefly luciferase (enzyme that creates bioluminescence in fireflies), d-luciferin (another bioluminescent) and semiconductor nanocrystal (has photoluminescence properties), which all appear to be sufficient aids in getting something lit.
Each Saturday Morning here at Adafruit is Saturday Morning Cartoons! Be sure to check our cartoon and animated posts both nostalgic and new that inspire makers of all ages! You’ll find how-tos for young makers, approaches to learning about science and engineering, and all sorts of comic strip and animated Saturday Morning fun! Be sure to check out our Adafruit products featuring comic book art while you’re at it!