Light-emitting plants to provide street lighting

Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created light-emitting plants that can be charged by an LED and used as a source of outdoor lighting.

Thanks to nanoparticles embedded near the surface of leaves, the plants can glow brilliantly for several minutes after receiving just a 10-second charge from an LED light. The nanoparticles, which use materials similar to those that give fireflies their glow, can be charged repeatedly.

The experiment succeeded with various leaf diameters and plant species, including basil, watercress, tobacco, daisy, and the Thailand elephant ear. Additionally, the plants continued to photosynthesize normally.

This research is part of a new field called plant nanobionics, which uses nanoparticles to add extra functions and capabilities to living plants, creating rechargeable glow-in-the-dark plants to provide.  For example, street lighting is just one of many applications that now seem completely possible.

What capabilities would you give plants if you had free rein? What powers would your super-plant have? Please comment below.

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