Flutterby™! : glowing taters

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glowing taters

2000-10-09 16:37:36+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Since I've had a cactus die of neglect I'm always looking for ways to surround myself with plants without having to do any work. A step in that direction: Potatoes that glow when they need watering.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:24+00 by: ebradway

I don't know about you but my problem with potatoes is KEEPING them from growing. I just don't seem to get around to cooking them soon enough.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:24+00 by: Larry Burton

I'm scratching my head over something the fellow in the article said. He said that these genetically modified plants would be used as monitors and would never enter the food chain. I've got to assume that these plants are going to produce pollen so it is very likely that they are going to reproduce with non-GM plants. You've also got insects that will eat the plants and birds that will eat the insects. And from another angle, since the phosphorescence isn't visible to you and I without the aid of technology, how do I know that these "monitors" haven't accidently been harvested with the other potatoes? I don't see how he can state that the plants will never enter the food chain. Am I missing something?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:24+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think you're underestimating the arrogance of a certain class of scientists. I know a couple of guys who, back in the '80s, played with self-replicating code, aka "viruses", in careful environments. Generally they stopped when they realized that they weren't careful enough to keep their code contained on their own systems, that they'd infected disks they'd thought were quarantined, etc. Any time someone thinks they can keep DNA inside a greenhouse I think they're just loony, but I also take solace in the knowledge that with millions of years of nature throwing horrid mutations at us our natural systems can probably withstand what we'll be able to cobble together for the next decade or so without making us extinct, and at that point we'll have learned enough to protect ourselves. As for your "since the phosphorescence isn't visible to you and I without the aid of technology" question, obviously you're not hanging out with enough stoners, 'cause everyone should have a black light in their living room...