biobulb

This Week in Science - August 12 - 18, 2013:

[Better late than never!]

  • Converted stem cells here.
  • Glow in the dark rabbits here.
  • Bacteria lightbulb here.
  • Neanderthals first European tools here.
  • Fur predates mammals here.
  • Cups & straws alert to date-rape drugs here.
  • Watermelon juice remedy here.
  • Mouse heart cells replaced here.
  • Carbyne stronger than graphene & diamond here.
  • Humans in China 1.7 mill. years ago here.
  • Olinguito discovered here.
  • Sea snail hatched in boys’ knee here.
vimeo

In short, three young scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison started a crowdfunding project to create a bioluminescent lightbulb. 

Awesome. Fund it here.

In their own words: 

The goal of the Biobulb is to create an ecosystem in a jar. The ecosystem will consist of several different microbes, each of which plays a role in nutrient recycling and population control. The result is a closed ecosystem that will sustain itself with the addition of just light. The system will support a population of genetically engineered E. Coli. These bacteria will be transformed with a plasmid which contains the genes for bioluminescence. The result will be a stable, closed, microbial ecosystem that glows in the dark. We plan on experimenting with different bioluminescence proteins to determine which species’ native genes produce the best glow in the E. Coli. We also plan to experiment with techniques to combat mutation in the plasmid, different colored light emission, and different triggers for the activation of the glowing bacteria.