SINGAPORE (Reuters) Some people like to talk to their plants. Now, students at Singapore Polytechnic say they have created a plant that can communicate with people – by glowing when it needs water.
The students have genetically modified a plant using a green fluorescent marker gene from jellyfish, so that it “lights up” when it is stressed as a result of dehydration.
The light is hard to detect with the naked eye but can be seen using an optical sensor developed in collaboration with students at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
The development of such plants could help farmers to develop more efficient irrigation of crops.
Hotspot Bloom is a wearable flower that glows and changes color to indicate the signal strength of a nearby wireless network (802.11b/g). With its mobile interface, Hotspot Bloom allows people to immediately identify hotspots and become vehicles of information by simply walking through a public space.
Dig this: A group of students have developed photographic film composed of bacteria. They took E. coli and genetically modified it by adding a protein from blue-green algae that detects light. They also linked it to the E. coli’s digestion: In the dark, the bacteria digest sugar and produce a black pigment, but in the light they don’t. Then they coated a petri dish evenly with this modified stuff.
The result? An organic way of taking pictures. The students put the petri dish inside a pinhole camera, expose the dish to light, and presto: The bacteria produce replicas of the scene in dark patches of pigment. As Aaron Chevalier, one of the students, told the University of Texas’ web site:
At first, we made blobby images and you had to imagine what they were.
But over the course of the year, he and the other students refined the camera. Although it’s still made with old bookends, discarded microscope parts and a used incubator, the newest camera is much more
compact and takes crisper pictures. I love the look of the photos: They’re like ghostly old daguerreotypes somebody found in their dead greataunt’s attic. It’s a great way to show the promise of synthetic biology – mucking with genetic material to produce new and weirdly useful forms of life.
This aerial photograph, taken by the photographer Jocke Berglund, shows some interesting effect in the aftermath of the great storm Gudrun that hit the south of Sweden early last year. The work vehicles’ tracks has created the illusion of a tree in a clear-felled area.
These totems were developed by analyzing online pornography viewing habits. Custom software was written to sniff all incoming Web traffic at a discreet location, sorting packets by destination IP address, time, and source IP address or domain name (if available). Domain names and IP addresses were checked by hand for pornographic content with non-pornographic sites culled from the sorted data.