Urgent Evoke

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there are night lights on in friends' rooms. constantly on. a slow, steady, painful trickle of energy leak from each one.

so a buddy and i went down to the lab and cultured everyone a couple plates of luciferase bacteria!

this means they glow in the dark as they metabolize. the bacteria use quorum sensing to activate their little glow enzymes, so when a big enough cluster of them grow emerge... bling!

they aren't that bright, more like a faint smear of stars across the culture plate. but a big plate gets a decent enough glow on and its so nifty no one uses their night lights anymore :)

(disclaimer: all bacteria were rigorously tested for for nasty side effects through the scientifically sounds technique of smearing them on the back of my hand. hey, it's my lab, no one tells me how to do science)

Views: 61

Comment by Comelia Tang on March 19, 2010 at 11:14pm
Very cool post! that reminds me of ancient Chinese who used to capture fireflies for reading lights.
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 19, 2010 at 11:36pm
this is an excellent breakthrough which can be manifested through commercial products where the requirement of light is sub-optimal....sometimes people just keeps their room lights switched on even if they are not physically present...for their religious beliefs....

if you go to a Hindu residence in some parts (or should I say most parts depending on a number of factors), we will find that there is a propensity of keeping a dim light on in the prayer room...it comes from a belief that idols of the Almighty should never be kept in absolute darkness at night. now those that believe in the Almighty, there is always a sense of guilt to keep a 5 watt bulb on in the prayer room.

Now if you magnify this act for 10 percent of the 600 million people who can come be potentially doing this practice of not keeping their prayer room pitch dark, we are talking of an awful amount of wastage of electricity per hour for an average of 7 hours of sleep at night at least....

I see a potential product application emerging out from this scientific breakthrough: Keeping alight sub-optimally illuminated spaces to balance belief with reason through design thinking.

Can little savings per person in a land of billion people means any...
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 19, 2010 at 11:36pm
worth +1 for Vision
Comment by Comelia Tang on March 19, 2010 at 11:39pm
@Rahul, yeah you are right, I remember how my hindu neighbors has an alter in a small room and the lights are always turned on. is it possible to use candles?
Comment by Robert Hawkins on March 20, 2010 at 12:06am
Fantastic idea. Is this the new chia pet with a bacteria fishtank in everyone's bedroom?
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 20, 2010 at 12:19am
Yes Cornelia. But burning candles could also mean acquiring negative carbon footprints apart from the fact that the prices are constantly hitting north.

Robert is bang on with another application: fish aquariums need sub-optimal lighting as well. Thanks.
Comment by Brian Ballsun-Stanton on March 20, 2010 at 2:06am
Is this an aerobic process? How do you maintain the culture? How do you contain them?

Optimally, you could seal them in a nice glass tube with a complimenting colony of ... something. (Sorry, this isn't my primary area of expertise) If you could work out some way of recharging the foodstock, this could be a really really handy emergency light.
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 20, 2010 at 7:02am
The link above was not working. So I have added it here again. Regret the inconvenience above.

Can little savings per person in a land of billion people means any...
Comment by Per Jonsson on March 20, 2010 at 9:08am
Hey good work! Go creative science!
Comment by glim on March 23, 2010 at 4:17pm
right now i just replate them, after reading all your amazing comments, i have been thinking about other ideas to maintain them. if the bacteria were cultured on a tube of cheesecloth or filter paper inside a glass tube, then the top could be opened and the tube refilled with TSB (tryplicate soy broth used in labs) or even a simple chicken or beef broth (with the fat removed). they cheesecloth would act as a solid medium and the broth pouring method would be more user friendly then learning how to mix agar with liquid medium, autoclaving, etc... i had a bunch in a jar of chicken broth and they were viable for roughly 4 weeks before i felt they needed new food.


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