by Yuriko Nagano
The glowing vegetation of the moon Pandora from the movie Avatar may become reality if a Taiwanese group of researchers have their way. The team have created a living light source using gold nanoparticles.
The researchers, headed by Yen Hsun Su of the Research Center for Applied Sciences at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, dipped Bacopa caroliniana, an aquatic plant used commonly in indoor aquaria, into a solution of these nanoparticles, which diffuse into the plant's cells after a day or so. The plants are then exposed to ultraviolet rays, which energise electrons in the nanoparticles and cause them to emit a violet-blue light. That light in turn makes the chlorophyll fluoresce and emit red light.
The nanoparticles stayed in the leaves for between two weeks to two months.
Read full story at New Scientist