via Live Science
Bionic plants that can detect explosives in real time could be the future of environmental monitoring and urban farming, researchers said in a new study.
The spinach plants have carbon-nanotube-based nanoparticles in their leaves that give off infrared light and are sensitive to the presence of nitroaromatics, key components of several explosives, the scientists said.
If these chemicals are present in groundwater, they are absorbed by the roots and transported to the leaves, where they cause the infrared emissions of the so-called “nanosensor” to decrease.
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