Homeland Security Developing Bomb-Sniffing Plants

The Department of Defense is looking to use plants to fight terrorism.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Bomb detection at your local airport is about to get a lot greener. No, security guards aren't going to be allowed to smoke weed on break. Researchers at Colorado State University have found a way to rewire plants to react to the faintest trace of TNT in the air. The technology, which was published for review in the online science journal PloS One, is being funded by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

Lead by Professor June Medford (seen above), the team at CSU Biology Department found a way to make plants turn white by draining their chlorophyll when they detect specific materials. According to Professor June, the re-engineered plans are 100 times more sensitive to bomb substances than the best bomb-sniffing dog.

So how soon will airport security checkpoints become swathed in a more friendly, verdant decor? Not for a while. The current response time for the plants is a couple hours, but with a new three-year $7.9 million grant from the DoD's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, June's team is hoping to cut that down to a couple minutes in a few years. Go green.

via Fox News

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