Reality surpasses fiction and with the help of nano particles, a group of scientists created plants that shine like those in the movie
The Nano Letters portal from the American Chemical Society reported the design of nanoparticles capable of making plants glow, similar to those that appeared in the movie Avatar in 2009. The objective of the scientists was to find a way to infuse the plants with the luminescence like that of fireflies and thus reduce our dependence on artificial light.
Leer en español: ¡Plantas que brillan como las de Avatar! Descúbrelas aquí
The results of the research, entitled A nanobionic light emitting plant, show that these plants are capable of emitting "1.44 × 1012 photons / sec. or 50% of the commercial luminescent diodes of 1 μW ". In fact, these plants light 100 thousand times more than the modified tobacco plants that also emit light.
The team of Michael S. Strano and his colleagues demonstrated "a nanobionic approach to the plant that allows for exceptional brightness and lifetime utilizing four chemically interacting nanoparticles, including silica conjugated with firefly luciferase (SNP-Luc), poly ( lactic-co-glycolic acid) d-luciferin releaser (PLGA-LH2), Coenzyme A functionalized Chitosan (CS-CoA) and semiconductor nanocrystal phosphors for longer wavelength modulation ".
The most amazing thing about these plants is that, like artificial light, they can be turned on and off. The EureAlert portal! emphasizes that "the plant could be turned off by adding a compound that blocks luciferase from the activation of luciferin brightness".
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Are these plants useful?
Many may see these plants as another scientific development. However, the advances achieved with the design of these nanoparticles could help reduce the dependence on artificial light that we currently experience. Additionally, it could reduce the diseases related to the use of artificial light.
According to the European Commission, some lamps can be harmful to the eyes and skin. According to the EC, patients suffering from diseases related to photosensitivity, such as chronic actinic dermatitis and solar urticaria, report that low-energy LED lamps worsen the symptoms of their illnesses. Additionally, this type of lamps emit UV rays that may exceed the established limits so that they do not affect the ocular retina and the skin.
The consequences of the use of artificial light for prolonged periods of time may be even worse. The European Commission emphasizes that "some press articles claim that, according to recent research, artificial light with a strong blue component could affect human circadian cycles and the hormonal system, and could cause diseases ranging from sleep disorders, of the immune system, macular degeneration, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and breast cancer".
In this sense, the development of these plants and their subsequent implementation would not only reduce our artificial light dependence but also help reduce the diseases described above.
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from “¡Plantas que brillan como las de Avatar! Descúbrelas aquí ”
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