Researchers has created cotton fibers with special properties like being luminous or magnetic without genetic modification.
The technology developed by an international research team would enable future clothing to become self-luminous or be given other special properties.
The research team working with this has designed a sugar molecule in the form of glucose that can be attached to other molecules.
When a plant absorbs the glucose, the other molecules are also transported to the flowers. They are thus built into the cotton fibers.
The point is that when the molecules are embedded in the fibers themselves, they do not dissolve as easily in the laundry as when an already finished fabric is chemically treated.
These are just lab tests so far, but researchers believe it is possible to explore other materials and properties in the same way.
Filipe Natalio et al. Biologische fabricatie van cellulosevezels met aangepaste eigenschappen. Science September 14, 2017. DOI: 10.1126 / science.aan5830