Trees May One Day Serve as Streetlamps
A Dutch designer wants to take the elements that make jellyfish glow and apply them to trees. Daan Roosegaarde envisions trees serving as streetlights one day. With the help of the Dutch government, he's developing his research here in the States, where genetic modification isn't as strictly regulated.
Ellis Hamburger for The Verge has the interview:
As my eyes adjust, it gets brighter. Roosegaarde’s specimen was created by genetically modifying its molecular structure to include luciferin, a chemical that gives jellyfish their radiant glow. "I’m completely obsessed with jellyfish," Roosegaarde says. "They create their own light without a battery or solar panel." Roosegaarde’s plant is nowhere near as vibrant as a jellyfish or a fern from Avatar — it’s in fact still quite dim — but serves as a proof of concept for his technology, which he hopes to employ on a much larger scale.
He asks me to imagine trees filled with glowing leaves lining highways to light the way for drivers, or a street lined with energy-neutral trees instead of electric street lamps. Roosegaarde says, "In a time where governments are shutting down street lights to save money, can we not make it more natural?" The plants were engineered in collaboration with BioGlow founder Dr. Alexander Krichevsky, who first revealed his technology back in January. The idea for glowing plants has been around for at least a few years, but Krichevsky claims that his are the first real prototypes.
To read more about Roosegaarde's exciting research, head over to The Verge.
Image credit: Doug888888/Flickr
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.