"Nanobionic spinach" to detect pollution and explosives



Scientists at MIT have incorporated sensors in "carbon nanotubes" and placed them in spinach leaves enabling the plant to detect a wide range of molecules. These "nanobionic spinach" have detected explosives in subterranean waters, "hydrogen peroxide", sarin gas and even "trinitrotoluene" - a type of explosive.

Spinach fitted with sensors [1] could therefore be used to reveal numerous pollutants and trace elements. The plants could also be used to locate dryness and several changes in soil properties.

 

This is a first step towards digitising plant information. The ultimate aim is to improve our knowledge of environmental sciences, agriculture and health.

 

[1] The spinach is not edible!


Sources: 

Paris Singularity (Loïc Bardon) 24/11/2016

Photo : Pixabay, DR.