Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Of Fireflies and Tobacco: Glow in the dark plants

Image taken from National Geographic website.

So I stumbled upon this interesting bit of research that was covered by TIME MAGAZINE, concerning the genetic engineering of a tobacco plant with firefly dna.

The result being a plant that totally glows in the dark on its own.

From the article:

It sounds like a child's riddle: What do you get when you cross a firefly with a tobacco plant? Answer: tobacco that lights itself. That is essentially what a team of scientists at the University of California at San Diego has done. By outfitting a fragment of a plant virus with the gene that tells firefly cells to produce a protein central to generating light, the researchers have created a plant that literally glows in the dark.

Additionally, here is a National Geographic article that shows some more crazy glow in the dark animals and plants.

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