Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

October 4, 2013

Glowing plants illuminate regulatory debate

(Continued)

"We're not expecting extremely bright. We're aiming glow-in-the-dark, stars-on-the-ceiling-type light. The first batch is not going to replace your bedroom light, but in the longer term that's the goal," Evans said.

That kind of future thinking was why the Glowing Plant Project's Kickstarter fundraising campaign, which officially began in April, was wildly popular from the start. While the company had hoped to raise a modest $65,000, it brought in $484,013 in just 44 days. A typical comment from a donor: "My dreams of having a greenhouse rose garden/glowing Avatar-like wonderland will soon be realized!"

The project soon ran into trouble, however. Deeming it "a new biotech threat coming from Silicon Valley," the environmental watchdog ETC Group started an online petition calling on Kickstarter to shut down the project. Nearly 14,000 people signed it.

In August, Kickstarter responded to the debate by announcing that it had amended its rules to ban all genetically modified rewards for donors, putting such gifts in the same category as drugs and firearms. While donors who supported the Glowing Plant Project would still get their genetically modified seeds, they would be the last. Kickstarter said it recognized it had sparked discussion within the scientific community about whether its platform was the best place to release synthetic or genetically modified organisms.

The Glowing Plant Project is at the forefront of an emerging field known as synthetic biology. Known as genetic engineering on steroids, the research aims to create new life-forms for practical purposes. The definition is still evolving, but the science — which lies at the intersection of biology, engineering and computational bioinformatics — usually involves modifying organisms to transform them into miniature factories for producing things such as medicine, food flavorings or even biofuels.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Clinton coming to eastern Kentucky to stump for Grimes

    By RONNIE ELLIS
    CNHI News Service

    GLASGOW — Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 27, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks