Skip to main content

MIT researchers create luminous trees for street lighting

MIT engineers create luminous trees as nanobionic power plants and one day can be optimized to replace streetlights. The team implanted a special nanoparticle into the leaves of a watercress plant to produce a dim light for four hours and one day will be increased in capacity.

This technology can also be used for indoor lighting with low intensity or to turn trees into street lamps. Nanobionic plants aim to give new features to plants by implanting different types of nanoparticles. Scientists report to the journal Nano Letters.

Tinuku MIT researchers create luminous trees for street lighting

"Plants will serve as table lamps, lights you do not need to plug in where the light is supported by the energy metabolism of the plant itself," said Michael Strano at MIT.

Strano and team engineered the plants to take over many of the functions now performed by electrical devices. Researchers have previously designed plants that can detect explosives to communicate information to smartphones, plants can also monitor drought conditions.

"Plants can improve themselves, they have their own energy, and they've adjusted to the outside environment. I think it's an idea the time has come," Strano said.

The MIT team using luciferase is an enzyme that gives light to fireflies. Luciferase works on a molecule called luciferin that produces light. Other molecules assist the process by removing the byproducts of the reaction which can inhibit luciferase activity.



The researchers used silica nanoparticles about 10 nanometers to carry luciferase, using slightly larger PLGA and chitosan particles to carry luciferin and coenzymes. Plants are immersed into the liquid and then exposed to high pressures that allow the particles to enter into the leaf through the stomata.

The luminous plants for 3.5 hours produced by one lettuce seed 10 centimeters, but the researchers will increase the emitted light and duration by optimizing the concentration and further discharge. The researchers hope a simple method by painting or spraying nanoparticles into plant leaves.

"Our target is seedlings and last a lifetime. Our work is very serious for street lamps that utilize trees and indirect lighting around the house," Strano said.

Comments

Popular posts

China's new energy vehicle market continues strong

Tinuku - China's new energy vehicle (NEV) sector continues to experience a major expansion in sales and production in the first half of 2018. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed Wednesday that NEV sales increased 111.5 percent year-on-year to 412,000 units in the first six months and production rose 94.9 percent to 413,000 units.

China became the largest NEV market in the world for three consecutive years as it intensified efforts to encourage the use of NEVs to reduce environmental stress by offering tax exemptions and discounts on car purchases.


The government expects annual NEV output to reach 2 million by 2020 and NEV sales to make up 20 percent of the overall car market by 2025. CAAM reported at least 14.07 million vehicles sold in China in H1 or up 5.57 percent year on year.

The report also showed about 14.06 million vehicles were produced or up 4.15 percent and passenger car sales reached 11.78 million units with commercial vehicles of 2.29 milli…

European Union and ASEAN to restart Free Trade Agreement

Tinuku - European Union (EU) and ASEAN have agreed to restart the process of forming Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as ASEAN coordinator for EU-ASEAN relations said on Saturday to build a framework to identify potential sectors to finalize the deal.

Lee also said the EU and ASEAN had agreed to restart the process of establishing a free trade agreement between the two blocs. The EU and ASEAN launched talks towards a pact in 2007 but ignored the process two years later as the EU voted to negotiate bilaterally with each country.


"As coordinators, we look forward to forming a framework to identify where areas where we have the potential to make a deal," Lee said.

"Working on a deal may take longer than the end of the year. But if we can identify where the big opportunities are, our trade-offs, then I hope we will have better success," Lee said.

"One of the things we expect is that European nations are able to manage their soci…

Malaysia reviews potential of monopoly by Grab and Uber mergers

Tinuku - Malaysia's transport ministry said Wednesday it is studying the potential of monopoly in the ride-hailing market triggered by Grab and Uber mergers under several existing regulations. Uber Technologies Inc. sold their business in Southeast Asia to Grab in March in exchange for shares in a Singapore-based company.

The ministry said the land transport agency received many complaints about Grab raising tariffs since the merger. Grab has become the dominant player in the region. Last week, Singapore's anti-trust agency proposed a fine on Grab and Uber where mergers have reduced competition and suggested improvements such as the sale of a car rental business.


"What's imposed on taxi drivers will also be imposed on e-hailing drivers to get the driver's card. We know this is not a move that will please all parties, but we take a more balanced approach and create competition," said Transport Minister Anthony Loke

The monopoly review will be conducted by Mala…

Xiaomi makes boost in Indonesia to dominate Southeast Asian

Tinuku - Xiaomi Corporation plans to make a boost in the Southeast Asian market by opening 40 official outlets in Indonesia until the end of 2018 as the most important country in the region after being officially listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Manager of Xiaomi Indonesia, Steven Shi, said on Thursday the company will continue to record the company's glorious record.

The new giant smartphone maker based in Beijing is planning to open 40 official stores called Mi Store and maximize 50 service centers spread across Indonesia until the end of 2018 as a key country to continue to dominate the mobile phone market in Southeast Asia.


Xiaomi will also optimize Mi Credit and Mi Roaming recently launched. The company will do more activities aimed at strengthening relationships with Xiaomi users called Mi Fans including Mi Pop titles that have taken place in several cities in Indonesia.

Xiaomi is one of the fastest technology companies that earned a profit of CN¥100 billion in the fi…