Glowing Christmas trees could be created by adding jellyfish gene

If dressing your Christmas tree and stringing all of those lights has become a bit tedious, scientists in England want to end that ritual by developing a self-glowing Christmas tree using genes spliced from jellyfish and fireflies.

Starting with Douglas spruce trees, the idea is to splice in the two genes that give jellyfish and fireflies their luminous qualities, resulting in a tree that glows green with no external power source.

The postgraduate biotech students from the University of Hertfordshire came up with the idea as their entry in a biotech competition, saying that there is no reason why this can't be done. Scientists have already used the same genes to create glowing potatoes, mice and silk, so moving it into trees should be feasible.

The students say that the main stumbling block is likely to be cost, with glowing trees expected to run from about $350 up. Sounds pretty cheap to me for something this cool.

BBC News, via Treehugger

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