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!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.