[ExI] glowing plants, was: RE: bees again

spike spike at rainier66.com
Wed May 22 17:55:20 UTC 2013



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] Subject: Re: [ExI] bees


On Tue, May 21, 2013 a spike <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:

>> >. Sorry. Street lights are out, maybe decorative mood lighting?  

 >>. Sure, but the idea isn't totally busted. 

>.Hmm, now that I think about it maybe not.  It occurs to me that a 18 watt
streetlamp does not produce anywhere near 18 watts of light, at best a
incandescent light bulb is only about 10% efficient in converting electrical
energy to visible light and even a LED is only about 20%, but a protein like
Luciferase is about 85% efficient in converting chemical energy into visible
light.  John K Clark



Ja, good point.  In my misspent childhood I was on a campout with the
scouts.  We caught a bunch of fireflies in a glass jar.  Each one created
intermittent light, but with enough of them, the jar of fireflies as a light
source was better than nothing.


Regarding Anders' point about it taking 30 years to grow a streetlamp
replacement, I have a couple of notions.  In the citrus industry, one can
graft a tree onto an existing rootstock and get some marvelous growth rates.
Apparently tree growth is limited by the growth rates of the roots rather
than the growth rate of the trunk and branches.  Botany hipsters, do feel
free to comment if this is wrong, it isn't my area of expertise.


Secondly, we have options such as starting with a plant parasite.  Many of
us have seen mistletoe in a tree.  We should be able to get a nice sturdy
tree, clone some bioluminescent mistletoe or Spanish moss, get that started
in a tree.  Then we give the tree extra fertilizer and water to keep it
healthy with the glowing parasites.


There is another variation as well: put the bioluminescent genes into
something that grows really quickly, such as a watermelon vine.  Once a
watermelon gets going, the vine itself can be moved anywhere, such as along
walkways, hang it in trees and so forth.  Perhaps the genetic gurus persuade
the vine to just grow, and not produce watermelons.  I would be reluctant to
eat anything that glows in the dark.


Since we are talking about fast growing stuff, perhaps we could make glowing


If the glowing plant-parasite idea is not already patented, I cheerfully
donate it into the public domain with this post.



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