Special Report

Creating a New Kind of Night Light: Glow-in-the-Dark Trees

A group in California is starting to engineer plants that could one day replace streetlights

San Francisco-based entrepreneur Antony Evans plans to insert genes from bioluminescent bacteria into a species of flora as a first step to creating glowing trees. (Antony Evans)

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Are there any projects that worry you?

Not for now. But, I think some scary stuff will happen eventually.

Some people have expressed concern with you distributing glowing plants and releasing synthetic plants into the wild. What do you have to say to those who fear this?

People have been genetically engineering plants for many decades now. We are just following in the footsteps of all of the other plants that have already been released in the last 20 years. We don’t think we are doing anything radically different. What is different about this project is how it’s been funded and that the work is taking place in a DIY bio lab rather than in a professional research institution.


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