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Carbon nanotubes turn spinach plant into a biological bomb detector

by Futures Centre, Nov 6
1 minute read

A group of MIT engineers has implanted customised carbon nanotubes into the leaves of living plants, with the aim to detect biological bombs.  

When the plants take in water from the ground, the nanotubes detect the presence of any nitroaromatics, which are explosive molecules found in landmines and other buried munitions. The leaves emit a fluorescent signal if these are picked up.

This signal can be detected by an infrared camera up to a metre away, and researchers are now working to increase that distance.


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