Glowing Plants: For or Against?

A friend told me about this very cool, SF-based startup his friend created and I just couldn’t keep it to myself O=]

His friend, along with his team of Stanford grad “bio hackers” from BioCurious, a Do-It-Yourself biology lab, created plants that glow in the dark, aka “Glowing Plant.” Yes, you read that correctly. These lovely, fluorescent plants could replace street lights, saving tons of energy as well as taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Glowing Plant

The part that’s a little controversial? Well, glow-in-the-dark plants didn’t really come about on their own. They had to be bio-engineered. So here’s the first part of the debate… is it worth it or just wrong?

I’ll try not to drag this out too long and keep it succinct (I really want to find out what you think too!):

On the one hand, the Glowing Plant team is using technology and creativity to try and do something good for our planet, give us alternatives so we can be less dependent on electricity. On the other, the way they went about it can be dangerous since we don’t understand everything about genetics and DNA yet… Is the risk worth the possible gains? Well, there’s only one way to find out isn’t there? And wouldn’t we be cheating ourselves not exploring all available avenues to a prosperous, healthy future? I definitely don’t think we should be wreck less about it, but something tells me these Stanford guys did their homework.

Another very interesting aspect of the Glowing Plant debate (yes, people have been sounding off on either side), is that the starup was crowd-funded through Kickstarter. In exchange for donations, Glowing Plant will be giving supporters bio-engineered seeds. The problem that surfaces is that these seeds were not tested or controlled by any regulatory body. I’m not sure how the founders were able to do this, but I sincerely hope they will find a way to have their seeds approved and quell opposers’ fears. They’re trying to do something amazing, and I would hate to see it cut short so early!

The short of it? You can’t accomplish anything great without taking chances.

For more info, here’s an interesting article from the Scientific American and try googling “Glowing Plant” — these guys are blowing the internet up!


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