Today: Thursday, 23 May 2024 year

Science: Future cities could be lit by bioluminescent algae

Science: Future cities could be lit by bioluminescent algae

The researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) are conducting the first research in the area of bioluminescent algae, which are able to light the cities in the future, ScienceNordic reported.

The scientists believe that bioluminescent organisms could one day light up our cities in a turquoise blue light. Despite some clear challenges, such kind of the lighting is pretty real. The researchers may need to transfer genes from bioluminescent organisms into other green organisms, perhaps higher plants that will be able to emit light more effectively.

According to DTU’s study, seaweed (macroalgae) that emit a blue light may be a way to light the cities in future. Even though people have observed this phenomenon in the ocean for more than 2,500 years, we still know surprisingly little about the algae involved and how they produce light.

In reality, two molecules are particularly important for light production: Luciferase (an enzyme) and luciferin (a molecule produced by photosynthesis).

When algae register a disturbance, a chain of cellular chemical processes is set in motion causing the pH to drop. This activates the luciferase enzymes, which bind to the luciferin and transfer energy to the luciferin via a process known as oxidation. It is the release of energy from luciferin we see as blue light.

It has so far only been shown theoretically and not by experiment, the study is one of the most interesting and perspective at the time.