A glowing green thumb

Omri Amirav-Drory wants to engineer a glow-in-the-dark garden

10:41am, August 9, 2013

Scientists aim to genetically engineer glowing plants in hopes of one day using them as lighting  in homes or cities (artist's illustration shown).

After Neil Armstrong’s small step onto the moon, generations of children played with toy rockets and dreamed of exploring space. Omri Amirav-Drory hopes a tiny glowing plant will inspire future generations of kids to play with genomes and dream up new forms of life.

Drory is a scientist and businessman leading a project to genetically engineer plants to make light-producing firefly proteins. He envisions a day when trees will replace street lamps to illuminate cities. “I think it will be a more interesting, beautiful world with glowing plants in it,” he says.

At least 8,433 people agree with him. These backers collectively pooled $484,013 in a campaign that ended June 7 on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, exceeding the project’s initial $65,000 goal. The team even raised enough money to attempt its next step: making a glowing rose.

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