Researchers at MIT have developed new technology that enables plant sensors to send emails containing information about the climate

Spinach is definitely a Bengali staple, with a variety of dishes and variations. It’s incredibly nutritious, and an everyday dish in many households. 

In addition to being the vegetable we’re all so fond of, it may possibly be able to send emails too! (you might not be saved from work emails just yet, though..) 

It could potentially inform humans about climate change, explosive materials and other fluctuating factors in the environment. 

Engineers at MIT have developed spinach sensors that can detect explosive materials. The roots of the plant detect elements used in explosives – such as nitroaromatics – within groundwater. Nitroaromatics are commonly used to manufacture explosives such as landmines.

Carbon nanotubes ingrained in the leaves of the plant then send signals to an infrared camera after detection. As a result of the entire process, an email is sent to scientists who are monitoring within the area. The initial study was published in Nature Materials, a scientific journal that specializes in science and engineering.

The technology utilized in the research is known as “plant nanobionics.” Plant nanobionics is the process where plants are given new abilities, reports Euronews.

Professor Michael Strano, who led the research, said that plants “are very good analytical chemists” and that the experiment was a “novel demonstration of how we have overcome the plant/human communication barrier,” in conversation with Euronews.

He also added that the process can be used to indicate changes in pollution and the environment. It can warn scientists and researchers about the changes. This can be done as plants are always acquiring enormous amounts of data from their surroundings.

“Plants are very environmentally responsive,” Strano told Euronews. “They know that there is going to be a drought long before we do. They can detect small changes in the properties of soil and water potential. If we tap into those chemical signalling pathways, there is a wealth of information to access.”

The research was initially conducted in 2016, but has recently blown up on social media. Many users were perplexed by the experiment and its findings. After Euronews reported on the research, the experiment started to trend on Twitter. 

Some users even joked that it could potentially expand into other social media platforms….

We’ve come so far in technology, we almost can’t beleaf it!



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