Light doesn't get more weirdly natural than this. Designer Joris Laarman, famous for creating chairs modeled on bones, has built lamps out of hamster ovary cells that are genetically engineered to glow. This video shows them in action.
There's an interesting article on Laarman's work in Fast Company, exploring how he creates his structures with computer programs that fashion furniture based on the growth patterns in skeletons and trees. But his lovely tables and chairs are nothing compared to the madness of a light made from mutated ovaries:
Laarman's next project is to take Cho cells from Chinese hamsters' ovaries, infused with luciferase, the enzyme that causes fireflies to glow, and turn them into bioluminscent lamps. Sadly, Laarman's attempt to bring a "Half Life Lamp" to New York failed when the stress of the trans-Atlantic trip proved too much for the little critters "They're dead," says [gallery owner Marc] Benda.
Eventually, says Laarman, he hopes this project, which he's doing in collaboration with the Universities of Twente and Leiden in The Netherlands, will allow scientists — and designers — to grow objects and products in the lab using biological processes. "It might be the solution to the drain of natural resources," he says.
It might be. Or it might just be really freakin creepy. Next up: A solar cell made with the scrotal cells of a wolverine.
via Fast Company