Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity or CO2

A project in San Francisco, CA by Antony Evans

Funding Successful

Create GLOWING PLANTS using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler's software
Backers: 8433
Average Pledge Per Backer: $57

Funded: $484,013 of $65,000
Dates: Apr 23rd -> Jun 7th (45 days)
Project By: Antony Evans
lightingscienceeco +Suggest

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Last Updated: June 7 @ 01:01 -0400 GMT


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Latest News

The 'Glowing plant' Kickstarter campaign is dead

August 27th - via:
One of the most popular Kickstarter launches of the last several years was the Glowing Plant campaign. The campaign officially died, but never quite ended. (Read More)

Whatever Happened to the Glowing Plant Kickstarter?

April 20th - via:
The latest update came quietly on Tuesday night.  (Read More)

Plant That Won

July 15th - via:
Do-it-yourself biologists who hit the jackpot on Kickstarter have learned that genetic engineering isn (Read More)

How we raised $484k on Kickstarter to make Glowing Plants

May 16th - via:
One of the goals of the Glowing Plant project was to inspire others to look at crowdfunding as a way to reach their own goals within DIY Bio / Synthetic biology. Consequently, we’ve been pleased to see a number of other projects launch. Sadly none of them have raised quite as much as our project, so we wanted to share some of what we did in the hope that these tips and tricks will be useful to others planning their own campaigns. (Read More)

The Glowing plant: A recreational GMO

October 3rd - via:
Through the Web site Kickstarter, three young entrepreneurs have raised about half a million dollars for a project that aims to genetically modify a plant so that it glows in the dark. Although Kickstarter has since banned the offering of similarly engineered organisms as rewards to backers, the creators of the glowing plant intend to distribute the seeds of their creation to benefactors. (Read More)

Kickstarter bans genetically engineered rewards

August 21st - via:
Kickstarter quietly added a new rule to its creator guidelines to ban genetically modified organisms after a project to fund a glowing plant skyrocketed to success. (Read More)

Plants That Glow in the Dark Spark Heated Debate

August 18th - via:
Kickstarter has backed away from crowdfunding genetically modified organisms that can be released from the lab, but the debate over who gets to grow what continues to rage. (Read More)

How Kickstarter Became Irrelevant To STEM

August 16th - via:
I am making the call: despite all the buzz it is currently getting due to crowdsourced funding for lots of projects, by wading into the anti-technology culture war, I am predicting the demise of Kickstarter. (Read More)

Kickstarter Bans GMOs In Wake Of Glowing Plant Campaign

August 3rd - via:
A recent Kickstarter project that aimed to reward backers with seeds for glowing plants was very well funded, having raised over $450,000. These seeds were said to produce glowing plants that had been modified with genes from fireflies and bioluminescent bacteria. Thousands of people backed the campaign at reward levels that included the promise of seeds. (Read More)

DIY biotech a glowing minefield for USDA

July 1st - via:
Plant a demon seed, raise a flower of fire. Plant a do-it-yourself biotech seed, raise a glowing plant. Certainly a harsh analogy, but the days of garage-tinkering with biotechnology are here to stay. (Read More)

Glowing plants: a cool idea, or terrible one?

June 13th - via:
Todd Kuiken, a senior science and technology innovation associate at the nonpartisan Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, called Glowing Plant “an ideal stress test” of current regulations for biotechnology, which, since the 1980s, have been grafted onto existing laws, instead of being drawn up anew. (Read More)

Supreme Court Decision Opens the Doors to A Boom in Synthetic Biology

June 12th - via:
A Kickstarter project to create eerily glowing vegetation is causing an uproar among critics of genetic modification, amid fears that they can’t be controlled. (Read More)

Glowing Plants: Crowdsourced Genetic Engineering Project Ignites Controversy

June 11th - via:
Biohackers who promised to distribute genetically modified bioluminescent plants without regulatory testing defend their work (Read More)

Glowing Plants: Awesome Kickstarter or Creepy Biotech?

June 10th - via:
If you're like me, the concept of synthetic biology—the application of engineering techniques to the building blocks of life—is pretty hard to get your head around. I get synthesizing, say, material to make clothes out of. But synthesizing new life forms? Apparently, while I stand slack-jawed, the novel technology is quickly going mainstream. (Read More)

Op-Ed: 'Glowing plants' Kickstarter causes controversy

June 8th - via:
A Kickstarter project that promises donors Arabidopsis seeds transfected with firefly genes is causing a debate over the misuse of genetics and the release of GMOs into the environment. The Kickstarter in question is called the 'The Glowing Plant Project', and looking at the site, the company has raised more than $480,000 from over 8,000 backers. (Read More)

The Campaign Kickstarter Shouldn't Be Funding

June 6th - via:
There is less than a day to go before the popular crowdfunding site hands hundreds of thousands of dollars to a controversial project for the widespread and unregulated distribution of over half a million extreme-bioengineered seeds. Kickstarter, which as a company stands to make over $22,000 from the project, has steadfastly refused to comment on its listing of a project to make and distribute "glowing plants" using Synthetic Biology despite a stream of negative comments on its facebook page. (Read More)

Kickstarter must not fund biohackers' glow-in-the-dark plants

June 6th - via:
Crowdfunded US biohackers are set to make world's first deliberate environmental release of a 'synthetic biology' organism (Read More)

Glowing Plants Kickstarter Controversy

June 5th - via:
A Kickstarter campaign for The Glowing Plant project has stirred the debate over genetically modified organisms. Scientists are planning to use lab techniques to insert DNA that codes for glowing proteins from fireflies and bacteria into plants, so they glow. These glowing plants have been made before — the first glowing tobacco plant was created in the 1986 — but this public campaign is causing a ruckus because they are planning to send the seeds out and they could potentially grow in the wild and spread. (Read More)

Get Involved!!

June 4th - via:
As backers you have already got involved with the project: without your support the Glowing Plant project wouldn't be happening.  We are looking forward to sharing and updating you on the project as it progresses. We are grateful for all the support... (Read More)

Fun Friday + Plant Watering Kit

May 31st - via:
Hello, We have less than a week to go with the project, so please let all your your friends that it's their last chance to support the project. Who wants to have a little fun today? Here's a challenge: there's a secret message in this DNA sequence,... (Read More)

Stretch goal #2: Get Involved!!

May 29th - via:
Wow, we did it!! We are so excited that we have reached the Glowing Rose stretch goal! Thank you all for such incredible support over the last few weeks, the whole team is so excited. The Glowing Rose will be sent to everyone who has backed the... (Read More)

Kickstarter Projects Raises Funds to Develop Plants That Glow in the Dark

May 26th - via:
Scientists are raising funds on Kickstarter to develop genetically-engineered plants that glow in the dark – thus eliminating the need for light bulbs. (Read More)

Spotlight on the Maker Kit

May 23rd - via:
Hello, David Lang from Make Magazine wrote a great piece about the Maker Kit and I thought you would all like to read the process for how we make a glowing plant, and how you could make your own if you want to:... (Read More)

New Reward: rootcup Planter

May 17th - via:
We are pleased to announce a new reward: a planter to grow your Arabidopsis seeds in! We are partnering with our friends at rootcup in San Francisco. This is the planter which will be shipped with the $150 rewards (and early bird discount). You can... (Read More)

Connect with the team!

May 14th - via:
Hard to believe we are only half-way through our campaign, it's been an exciting few weeks already and we are hoping to make our first stretch goal soon.  Thank you all for your support so far. We wanted to let you know about a few opportunities to... (Read More)

Correction: New Backer

May 14th - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

Strategic Partnership

May 13th - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

Glow-in-the-Dark Plants on the ISS

May 9th - via:
This one just goes in the 'OMG that's cool... I just found out that they are growing Glowing Arabidopsis on the International Space Station.  You can learn more about what they are doing and why in this video from NASA: It's important to note that... (Read More)

Luminescent Plant Kickstarter Project: Miracle Glow

May 9th - via:
I’ve seen some offbeat projects turn up on Kickstarter over the years, but a project that’s there now called Glowing Plants is one of the strangest. You can probably figure out what the project is about simply from the name. The people behind the project want to create plants that glow to provide natural lighting with no electricity. (Read More)

Glowing Plant Gets Green Light from Fan Funding

May 8th - via:
Three biotechnology entrepreneurs have come up with a bright idea that has attracted a wealth of interest and backing on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, which allows people to donate money directly to projects they want to help finance. (Read More)

How to Grow Arabidopsis

May 7th - via:
Though it may not be as pretty as a petunia or practical as a potato, Arabidopsis does have a certain charm to it. Here are some general principles for growing it: Soil: Most commercial soilless mixes which include peat, vermiculite, and perlite can... (Read More)

Kickstarter crowd gives glowing plant the green light

May 7th - via:
With a month still to go, the project has raised $243,000 (£157,000). Its initial goal was $65,000. Backers are promised seeds for glowing plants, although delivery will not be until next May at the earliest. (Read More)

Share the Love! Wear your Glowing Plant Avatar Badge!

May 6th - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

Next Step For Glowing Plant Kickstarter Campaign? Glowing Rose

May 6th - via:
With 35 days left in their Kickstarter campaign, the guys who want to light the way with glowing plants have raised more than $200,000, blowing away their initial goal of $65,000. And they’re not wasting any time resting on their laurels. I spoke with the project’s manager Antony Evans. He told me what the team has already set its sights beyond the user-friendly but unremarkable Arabidopsis. If the campaign raises more than $400,000, they’ll not only complete the Arabidopsis work, but bring illumination to the already beautiful rose as well. (Read More)

Results of survey

May 4th - via:
Hello, 53% of you voted 'Yes - completely open, companies can sell' so we will release the seeds completely free of any commercial restrictions.  Here are the full results: Also James Stephenson has started to grow some untransformed Arabidopsis to... (Read More)

Should the seeds be available commercially?

May 3rd - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

Glowing Plants as Bright as a Light Bulb: Genetically Engineered Kickstarter Project (Video)

May 3rd - via:
Bored of your typical nightlight? Don't want to turn on that power switch? It turns out that there may be an easier way to light up your homes without the use of electricity. A new Kickstarter project is aimed at creating glowing plants that are as bright as your average light bulb. (Read More)

Radical Openness

May 2nd - via:
Hello, One of the benefits of funding a project like this through kickstarter is that you aren't beholden to the interests of traditional shareholders or government funding agencies.  This means we can stay closer to our values and pursue a... (Read More)

Glowing plants and DIY bio succeed on Kickstarter

May 2nd - via:
In the last week, over 3,000 people on Kickstarter ignored the fact it's next to impossible to keep a houseplant alive and backed the now fully-funded "Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity" campaign. The funds will be used to build upon existing technology and create a transgenic plant that has a soft blue-green glow to act as an electricity-free nightlight. Backer rewards, each glowing, include an arabidopsis plant, a rose plant, and arabidopsis seeds. We check in as the Glowing Plants team heads towards their first stretch goal and look at how this project is part of a bigger trend in DIY biology. But be warned: this is not your grandma's seed catalog. (Read More)

Crowdfunding Roundup: SmartWallit, Glowing Plants, and Tablet Accessories

May 2nd - via:
Right now, there are some great crowdfunding campaigns going on. Take a look at these current projects we've rounded up to share with you:SmartWallit is a device and Smartphone app that work together to prevent you from ever losing your phone or wallet again. The wallet connects with your iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 or Android phone via Bluetooth. The SmartWallit app allows you to track your phone or your wallet if they are lost. Also, if your wallet and phone are separated, they will beep to remind you so that you never accidentally walk off without one again. This Kickstarter project ends very soon. (Read More)

How bright can we make our plants grow?

April 30th - via:
The benchmark for bioluminescense has been set by the 2010 iGem team from the University of Cambridge. Look how bright they were able to make their bacteria glow - even reading by the light: You can read more about their project... (Read More)

Fun videos

April 29th - via:
Hello, A few videos to make that return to work on Monday a little less tedious.  There was a hilarious discussion about the Glowing Plant project on TWiT.TV yesterday -  No we are not making Satan plants, it's luciferin... (Read More)

New Reward: Vase II

April 27th - via:
Hello, Really excited to make the home page of kickstarter this morning, it's great to have amazing support.  The whole team is psyched to be able make this happen. Today we'd like to bring you a new reward, a new vase with a more minimalist design.... (Read More)

Stretch goal #1 - The Glowing Rose!!

April 26th - via:
Hello, Thank you all for your incredible support the last few days. How poetic was it that the first synthetic biology kickstarter campaign reached it's goal on DNA day. Now we can make the glowing plant a reality, but we don't need to stop here. The... (Read More)

Celebrate DNA day

April 25th - via:
Hello, Today is DNA day, it commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA. Thank you for all the incredible support for... (Read More)

Kickstarter Campaign To Create Glowing Plant Goes Viral

April 25th - via:
In what they call the “first step in creating sustainable natural lighting,” a group of innovators coming out of Singularity University have launched a Kickstarter campaign to create glowing plants. Admittedly the idea of replacing street lamps with glowing foliage will seem far-fetched to many. But after just three days the campaign has gone viral, already having surpassed its goal of $65,000. (Read More)

Synthetic biology Kickstarter aims to make glowing plants

April 24th - via:
Ben sez, "The first ever synthetic biology Kickstarter is about growing glowing plants. Using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler software, they are ready to input bio-luminescence genes into a mustard plant and have it be naturally glowing. Meant more as a hint of things to come and what can be achieved with synth bio." It's ambitious, but the project's lead looks like he has the necessary experience. Still, as with all ambitious Kickstarters, you should be prepared to lose your dough. (Read More)

Meet the team tonight - Mountain View

April 23rd - via:
Hello, It's been a lot of fun working on this project and getting ready to launch the past 8 months, and it's been fantastic to see the enthusiasm today. Many people contributed to the project and to thank them we are having a small event tonight... (Read More)

If you have additional news that doesn't appear here, shoot us a link!