Trees that can light up our streets

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Engineers and scientists from the United States have come up with yet another original project. They want to create phosphorescent trees that can effectively replace our streetlights!

This original idea of light without electricity seems impossible, but according to these scientists, this is feasible thanks to synthetic biology. This new discipline deals with designing, building and synthesizing new organisms and biological functions that do not exist in nature.

The idea of this project about phosphorescent trees, is to insert genetic material from fireflies in a plant so that the latter emits a glow. The key members of the team claim that this innovative project can actually be beneficial for the environment, because these trees that can light up the streets will help with energy savings.

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Another innovation of this project is the financing aspect: crowdfunding. This method of financing is gaining popularity and the team members have launched an appeal for donations on the Internet via a dedicated website. This project hoped to collect 65,000 U.S. dollars, but surprisingly they ended up collecting more than 485,000 dollars!

The issues of innovation and sustainable development have convinced many Americans. Crowdfunding works on the principle that the donors will get some direct benefit from the project. In this case, for a $40 donation, the donor will be rewarded with a bag of a hundred seeds of these phosphorescent trees!

Some associations are doubtful about the project. ETC Group or the Mother Jones website drew attention to the fact that this project may not be an ideal solution to the energy problem; the introduction of genetically modified plants in nature can have disastrous consequences for ecology.

The consequences are difficult to predict. What would happen if these trees proliferate or mutate unpredictably? What are the consequences for the environment and mankind? It is impossible to say at this stage. That is why these associations want us to take into account the risks of this project. Though doubtful, ETC Group has also joined the crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the project.

There have been a few other projects that are trying to create phosphorescent trees, but till now none of them have achieved real light, powerful enough to replace street light.




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