1. here’s the story behind the image, from wikipedia:

    “an image of a tobacco plant which has been genetically engineered to express a gene taken from fireflies (specifically: photinus pyralis) which produces luciferase. the image is an “autoluminograph” produced by placing the plant directly on a piece of kodak ektachrome 200 film. when the plant is watered with a luciferin containing nutrient medium, tissue specific luminescence is observed. it is the first representation of a transgenic multicellular organism expressing bioluminescence. this image was first published in a november 1986 issue of the journal science in a paper titled “transient and stable expression of the firefly luciferase gene in plant cells and transgenic plants”. [1] by david w. ow, keith v. wood, marlene deluca, jeffrey r. de wet, donald r. helinski and stephen h. howell. the research was funded by grants from the us dept. of agriculture and the national science foundation.

    image taken by keith wood (of deluca lab) for science magazine. permission to use on wikipedia has been granted by science magazine”

    isabella mori’s last blog post..a luminescent wednesday

  2. I’m not clear on the purpose of the research? was it to improve or cure an adverse condition of tobacco? or just something that is extraordinary and “we’ve never done this, lets try it and See if it works” or maybe there is some useful info from this from the firefly illumination – really beautiful photo in a trippy psyhcedelic kind of way

  3. The possibility of sensing varied levels of light reminds human beings they have the ability to raise their awareness and perceive differently. The stark contrast in light and color is itself a teacher. Each person chooses what they will see, whether they will judge, criticise or simply be.

  4. Replying to BillB, luciferase is used in research as a “reporter gene”, so the expression of luciferase is used to monitor a second (usually hidden) molecular mechanism. This is of particular concern when exploited in whole organism, not only plants, but even fishes and mice.
    Have a look on http://www.reportergene.com to discover the many applications of luciferase in research

    96well’s last blog post..Ca2+ regulated photoprotein

  5. thanks for all the comments!

    alexander, in response to your comment:

    i guess biotechnology is similar to the internet: a whole new world, a bit like the wild west, and we have very little guidelines as to how to deal with it.

    there is no question for me, however: it is here to stay. once we grab hold of a technology like this, we WILL use it. this sort of progress is unavoidable. whether it goes in a life affirming direction or not – i guess that’s at least partly up to us.

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