Could glow-in-the-dark plants replace streetlights?


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Author's Note: Could glow-in-the-dark plants replace streetlights?

Would you want to live in a world that looks like a Pandora knockoff, or blares like the wall decorations of a stoner crash pad? If you said yes, would your answer change once you realize there's probably no way to turn the trees off?

Some embrace glowing plants for their symbolic value. Trees are associated with knowledge, whether in a Biblical or Newtonian sense, as are various light sources (light bulbs, lanterns and torches spring to mind). But symbols cut both ways, and a glowing tree that doesn't work -- or worse, causes harm -- is another arrow in the quiver of those who see at least some science as frivolous and not worth the risks research sometimes poses.

Either way, the phrases "do-it-yourself biolab" and "mail-order DNA foundry" give me the willies.

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