Move over Paris: French town eyes bioluminescent bacteria to be next City of Lights

May 2, 2022 |

In France, a small hamlet will soon test the use of bioluminescent bacteria to light its streets. Rambouillet, located just a stone’s throw away from “La Ville-Lumière,” will use technology developed by Glowee to deploy the eco-friendly lighting solution. 

“Our goal is to change the way in which cities use light,” Glowee founder Sandra Rey recently told the BBC. “We want to create an ambiance that better respects citizens, the environment and biodiversity—and to impose this new philosophy of light as a real alternative.”

Glowee’s lighting solution is comprised of pylons full of Aliivibrio fischeri, a bioluminescent bacteria gathered from the French coast, along with saltwater and nutrients. When exposed to oxygen, Aliivibrio fischeri consume the nutrients and produce a glow. 

There are some challenges, however. The bacteria need to produce brighter light for the sake of public safety, and there are doubts whether enough bacteria can survive the French winter. Glowee is working to address this with genetic engineering.  “We are advancing little by little,” Rey told the BBC. “But we’ve made enormous steps already and our philosophy of light is a response to the crisis humanity is facing.”

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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