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Author: Subject: Glow-in-the-dark plants go on sale
IrC
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 03:33
Glow-in-the-dark plants go on sale


http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/03/27/glow-in-dark-plant...

The website:

http://www.glowingplant.com/

I am curious if anyone has looked into this topic and what information you might have. They say by this summer you can get the seeds, as well you can pre order now so I assume this might be a good idea since it looks like they may sell out rapidly. They also state the genetic design will be 'open source'.

Equally interesting is the 'genome compiler' they are using to design and improve this new synthetic species.




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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 06:06


What kind of plant is it? I think it would be phenomenal to use these to line paths leading up to a home but curious if it would survive a winter. Very cool.



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Chemosynthesis
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 10:09


I saw a story about that type of thing a few years ago, I think on the proof of concept of glowing trees and speculation on antiquating streetlights. I'm curious what vectors and promoters they used originally, and how many different types of plant they offer.
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IrC
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 10:32


Completely synthetic genome, yet somehow reminds me of Day of the Triffids.

Think I'll look for flamethrower plans just in case it gets away from them.




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Chemosynthesis
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 10:55


Quote: Originally posted by IrC  
Completely synthetic genome, yet somehow reminds me of Day of the Triffids.

Looked like they transformed the cells after propagating the DNA in bacterial cultures from the story. You mean the other recent news?
http://www.livescience.com/44404-first-synthetic-yeast-chrom...
Interesting how we now have synthetic eukaryotes from just a few years ago in a bacterium.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-...
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 15:46


Fantastic! I've been excited about this since the Kickstarter (which I barely missed having a chance to fund, unfortunately). This is how genetic engineering should go. No kill-switches and plants you'd be violating patents to try to improve.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 17:59


They seem to have a DIY kit with a bacteria and non-glowing seeds to make your own glowing plant. I do not have the necessary biology knowledge, but can one take the bacteria and a different type of seed and make other glowing plants? Like an apple tree or something?
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Chemosynthesis
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 18:13


I don't think so. Where do you see the kit?

In a simplified procedure for most genetic modifications, you generally use a vector of some kind to transform bacteria, which inserts your gene of interest into the bacterial genome. You then use a screening and selection method to isolate only the presumed monoclonal bacterial colonies which express your gene functionally. In their case, it appears the original gene was from a bacterium, and they probably cloned it into E. coli, which is cheap, easy to grow, and pretty well mapped genetically in terms of promoters, etc.

You use the new bacteria as giant DNA or protein bags to grow many copies of your product, then lyse them, separate, and either run experiments with (usually protein), or excise and possibly clone into another organism (DNA).

I don't know if they have even newer techniques than that, but they seem to have slightly modified the gene of interest and synthetically printed it, which I know little about, prior to introducing it to what I would imagine is an E. coli culture for optimal replication.
edit- typo

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by Chemosynthesis]
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 18:13


That would be really awesome… particularly if it then produced glowing apples that carried the glowing gene!
Biologists would probably laugh at us upon reading this though.
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Chemosynthesis
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 18:21


Quote: Originally posted by zts16  
That would be really awesome… particularly if it then produced glowing apples that carried the glowing gene!
Biologists would probably laugh at us upon reading this though.

I haven't encountered any self-identified biologists who would laugh. Some people consider me a biologist at work, though I don't profess to be one. People've already made glowing pigs, fish (for sale), monkeys, etc.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4605202.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8070252.stm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7-ofCWJiUg
http://www.glofish.com/
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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 20:36


Quote: Originally posted by Chemosynthesis  
Where do you see the kit?



http://www.glowingplant.com/maker

[Edited on 30-3-14 by The_Davster]
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 21:05


Epic stuff, now my entire garden will be able to glow along with my pool and compost pile :D
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Glow-in-the-dark-mushroom-Panellus-s...
http://www.algabiotics.com/Products.html

And people say that engineered negligible senesence won't happen within my lifetime...... SCIENCE BITCH! Now we just need to take the genes of the electric eel and wire power outlets into all my trees in my backyard :P

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by PeeWee2000]




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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 21:54


Quote: Originally posted by The_Davster  

http://www.glowingplant.com/maker

I stand corrected; apparently agrobacterium can serve as a horizontal gene transfer vector with both plants and fungi. Learn something new every day!

Edit- though, the promoter specificity and insertion of your gene is less likely to be as effective in other organisms. At least one method involves inserting genes with a certain amount of overlap with endogenous DNA, so it sticks and is replicated. This is somewhat tailored to region of insertion and organism.

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by Chemosynthesis]
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 22:24


Quote: Originally posted by PeeWee2000  
Now we just need to take the genes of the electric eel and wire power outlets into all my trees in my backyard :P



It is the prospective of producing electricity from trees, that makes me wish I was a biologist instead of chemist. It would be amazing to be the one to discover how to do this, and I am betting this will happen in my lifetime.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 22:55


That would be interesting. Unfortunately, it appears you'd need an excitable biological membrane for this to work. Never heard of a plant with a nervous system.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-electric-ee...
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 00:11


But as long as photosynthesis involves electron transfer, there must be a way to harness that?
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 06:23


Theoretically, though the photo system proteins in photosynthesis are relatively much more localized than a nervous system, which I believe necessitates an organ or tissue network rather than just a few proteins in a cell. Multicellular organisms still have cell polarity, differentiation, and signalling issues no one remotely understands, and I do not see that changing in the near future.
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 07:19


I really like the work of the people made the fluorescent plant possible. The people trying to sell it I like a bit less.

Please do not get me wrong, synthetic engineering is one of the more promising sciences, but what the sellers are trying to do here, and correct me if I'm wrong, is making money.


I have been studying molecular biology for five years now, working full time in molecular biology labs for almost two years now, and I think I would have difficulties with the procedure in a home lab. of course; In the lab I work at right now... no problem. But only with the training I had over the years.

Of course, anyone could train himself. But even the real seeds they are selling are only worth a buck or five.. per a ten-thousand.
Arabidopsis grows like shit, and reproduces like shit, the work they have done could have been done 20 years ago, and the only reason they are selling these seeds right now is because before GMO's would have be seen as 'evil'.

If you want a glowing in the dark strain of A. thaliana, go to the nearest university which does molecular biology research on plants and the will have tenths of thousands of seeds laying around. You just have to grow them.

Edit; I'm pretty sure this isn't even a real ''glowing'' plant either. looking at the stuff they send it is a fluorescent plant, not a luminescent plant. The do it yourself kit is even worth less than then actually seeds they are selling ( with the seeds they would have to grow them). Even if you would have to buy everything yourself, or improvise, I get to about ten dollars. The DNA, you could get at any university as stated before.

They are a ripoff.


[Edited on 30-3-2014 by Tsjerk]

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by Tsjerk]
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 07:43


Or maybe you can even ask the molecular biologists at your local university if you could preform the experiment at their lab, against compensation of the actual costs. If you would ask me or my supervisor, we would probably let you do it for free.

At the same time you will have someone around who can help you when it doesn't work out.
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 07:48


They can put whatever price they want to sell them you know, if someone think it is too much he simply has to find another source. And if there is none, they have the monopoly, so they can sell even higher. It is how Capitalism work If I recall correctly.

I have no problem with that. If I would want I could sell a gram of Red phosphorus or 500$. Much more then the actual value, but it is not a rip-off, it is the buyer responsibility to figure out what is too costly for him. I could also sell one gram of Red phosphorus for 0.01$. which would not be a rip-off for me too, since it is the seller responsibility to figure out a reasonable price so he can get some profit, and not negative profit.

I would not buy that, since it is way too costly for me compared to the need I have for such an item.

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by plante1999]




I never asked for this.
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 09:18


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
Please do not get me wrong, synthetic engineering is one of the more promising sciences, but what the sellers are trying to do here, and correct me if I'm wrong, is making money.

And there's a problem with trying to recoup costs and make something on the side afterwards? There are a bunch of groups trying to get glowing plants which can be used as lights. Unlike any of the others I've seen, this project is open source and accessible. All their DNA designs are already available for anyone to look at. Everything else supposedly will be once it's completed. You can take their work, do whatever you want to it yourself, propagate it and transfer it to other people as much as you like. You can duplicate what they've done, create something completely new from it, take advantage of the work without ever sending them a cent. You can wait a year for someone to grow the plants out and offer you a handful of seeds for free. Or, if you'd rather, you can buy a handful of them now for $50 + shipping. How is it a bad thing to make these things accessible to people without a lab to do the genetic modification themselves? Don't you get paid for your work?

Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
Edit; I'm pretty sure this isn't even a real ''glowing'' plant either. looking at the stuff they send it is a fluorescent plant, not a luminescent plant.

No. It's actually luminescent. Jealous? I sure as hell am.

[Edited on 3-30-2014 by Etaoin Shrdlu]
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 09:32


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
Or maybe you can even ask the molecular biologists at your local university if you could preform the experiment at their lab, against compensation of the actual costs. If you would ask me or my supervisor, we would probably let you do it for free.

At the same time you will have someone around who can help you when it doesn't work out.


So you are saying you have access to glowing plant seeds at a price point of 5$/ 10000 seeds, and these people are likely selling for over a hundred for a few small handfuls of seeds?

Let me pitch you a business idea....;)
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 11:59


Ok, if they are really luminescent, and not just fluorescent, I stand corrected. In that case I don't have a ten-thousand ready, but with 500 seeds you could make 50.000 in under three months, unless they made them infertile.

Open source doesn't really say anything, that will only give you the sequence of the DNA they used and the opportunity to sell their product after you grew seeds of the plants (if at all possible).

Could anyone point me to the place where they actually say the plants are luminescent though? I don't really see the actual statement anywhere.

Edit: If they are fluorescent, then yes, I have access to 1.000.000 in three months for under 100 dollar.

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by Tsjerk]

[Edited on 30-3-2014 by Tsjerk]
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 14:09


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
Open source doesn't really say anything, that will only give you the sequence of the DNA they used and the opportunity to sell their product after you grew seeds of the plants (if at all possible).

And their protocols, and access to the bacteria they used...unlike nearly every commercial GMO organism up to this point, where they hide as much as they can, often damage reproduction capability deliberately, and forbid people from breeding new organisms if they do manage to get around the artificial restrictions. These guys will give you everything they did and say "Sure. Do it yourself."

Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
Could anyone point me to the place where they actually say the plants are luminescent though? I don't really see the actual statement anywhere.

Every single place they say "no electricity." UV light for fluorescence needs electricity. I'm willing to bet they're doing something very similar to Bioglow with Starlight Avatar, only these people are nice enough not to put restrictions on what you do with the plants.
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[*] posted on 30-3-2014 at 20:32


You seem to be unfamiliar with scientific requirements in this field. Posting the DNA sequence is only a small move, one of the very minimums that you have to do before you can publish. To the point where GenBank/EMBL and parent International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration is full of sequences from papers that haven't been published yet and likely never will be. These people haven't been as open as they want it to look. I'll believe it when I see it, so far it's just promises.
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