Bioluminescent Trees for Future Cities?

Bioluminescent Trees for Future Cities?



The Genetic Architectures Research Group at the Universidad Internacional de Cataluña in Spain looks at how we could integrate nature into our urban life through synthetic technology.

The research group take an interdisciplinary approach to the application of genetics in architecture. Their work is based on two perspectives: the real, natural and direct working with geneticists, and the metaphorical, artificial and digital using CAD-CAM technologies.

The genetic creation of bioluminescent plants for urban and domestic use was an early idea from the lab. They engineered lemon trees to have leaves which glow in the dark, creating with genes originally sourced from bioluminescent jellyfish which produce the protein GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein).

The team extended their work to look into using bioluminescence for architectural applications. They developed a bio-lamp, and a "battery" with bioluminescent bacteria tfound in deep sea fish. 

The current phase of the project is exploring the genetic creation of bioluminescent plants for urban and domestic use: ornamental plants with bacteria and insects bioluminescent genes.



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