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bubble leaves trees

soap-bubbles form on the leaves of trees when it's rainy
  [vote for,

if genetic engineering will be able to make possible the choosing of substances a plant secretes, my idea has the slightest chance of being baked.

some trees have to be geneticaly engineered in order for their leaves to secrete a substance that helps forming soap-bubbles. it would solve into the rain water or irrigation system, and then it could help cleaning the leaves better than plain water. but frankly, I don't care whether the leaves of trees are clean or not. the goal of this substance is obtaining leaves that make bubbles when the wind blows. the bubbles` sizes depend on those of the leaves. when the wind is strong enough, the bubbles come off, and start descending.

great for gardens and parking lots.

sweet, Apr 13 2004

Tree bubbles http://www.upthefar...egs.com/bubbles.htm
[skinflaps, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Darn scientists got there first.... http://www.isb.vt.e...04.apr.html#apr0403
[jonthegeologist, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       I like this idea. It would look like something out of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory if you had a whole forest of them. Couple of problems, though: 1) Detergent is horrible stuff. It stings if it gets in your eyes, it makes everything it touches feel greasy, and it's probably not very good for the grass. Is there another substance you can use that makes bubbles but is not quite so noxious? 2) You would need some way of getting the stuff into hoops or you would just get spots of detergent blown off the trees instead of bubbles. You could do this by having special hoop-shaped fruit, which secreted the soap on the uppper inside edge so it would form a film inside the hoop. But that sounds like it would be some pretty magical genetic engineering.
spacemoggy, Apr 13 2004

       I doubt if plants and trees would tolerate soapy substances in their system. would kill off the greenfly anyway.
po, Apr 13 2004

       well, [spacemoggy]   

       1.obtaining a human-skin neutral substance isn't that hard. it's a matter of ratio between acid and basic compounds. when the p.h. is 5.5 the substance is considered neutral.   

       2. if you look closely to the shape of some oval leaves, you'll see it's probable that bubbles could form..
sweet, Apr 13 2004

       you'd need leaves with holes in them like a swiss cheese plant. oh gawd, I am getting drawn into this.
po, Apr 13 2004

       no, you wouldn't. you'd need oval-semi-spherical leaves. common [po] !! it's not that unlikely for a leave to be oval and concave at the same time... but on the other hand, you can have them genetically-pierced, if you will. but I not more than one hole per leave. that's final.
sweet, Apr 13 2004

       don't you need air to be blown through the hole to create the bubble?   

       don't you c'mon po - me!
po, Apr 13 2004

       Now, now, leaf it out.
skinflaps, Apr 13 2004

       If I find a leave, I'll put it myselve on the shelve with my elve hoove.
FarmerJohn, Apr 13 2004

       Do elves have hooves? I need to watch Lord of the Rings more closely, obviously.
spacemoggy, Apr 13 2004

       baked. tsk! Can't believe it.   

       Well, sorta. Soaps are a specific kind of surfactant and surfactants occur naturally in many plants.   

       Ok ... one particular surfactant which goes by the name of a rhamnolipid is a useful for biodegradation of oil spills in soils and in water. Scientists are working on genetically modifying plants to produce their own rhamnolipids which will help keep the toxicity of soils down.   

       Ok, so it doesn't produce huge amounts of bubbles that the author envisaged, but they are genetically modifying plants to produce soap-like chemicals.
jonthegeologist, Apr 13 2004

       thank you [jon]. turns out I wasn't so crazy after all..
sweet, Apr 13 2004

       Since you are already up to genetic engineering you should also breed a little bug that eats round holes into the leaves of these trees. Then the wind can easily blow the bubbles.
kbecker, Apr 13 2004

       GM bubbles. Whatever next?
DrCurry, Apr 13 2004


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