Bioengineering team PlantLab have a bold plan to solve the global food crisis.

Faced with a growing world population and shrinking available farmland, the Dutch bioengineering team PlantLab is taking Dickson Despommier‘s Vertical Farm concept into a bold, new direction by replacing natural sunlight with artificial illumination.

In their research station, strawberries, yellow peppers, basil and banana plants take on an eerie pink glow under red and blue bulbs of Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs. Water trickles into the pans when needed and all excess is recycled, and the temperature is kept constant. Lights go on and off, simulating day and night, but according to the rhythm of the plant — which may be better at shorter cycles than 24 hours.

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