Researchers have created a cyborg spinach plant species capable of sending alerts when they detect chemicals in the air, soil or groundwater.
Human beings can use current nature to blur communication, for example, between a person and a spinach plant, or at least MIT scientists have shown.
Specifically, MIT scientists have shown that spinach plants are capable of sending emails to researchers thanks to the carbon nanotubes incorporated in their leaves that are capable of detecting, even better than any other machine, nearby explosives or different substances chemical.
As collected by Nature , they comment that this is a novel demonstration of ” how we have overcome the barriers of communication between plants and humans, ” says the chemical engineer and MIT project leader, Michael Strano.
This species of robot spinach or cyborg spinach has previously shown that it is capable of detecting contaminants, but now it goes a little further. In order for a spinach plant to warn scientists of different changes in the terrain, the plant makes its embedded carbon nanotubes glow when exposed to the chemical in question , while nearby cameras are able to detect this change. and they send an alert by mail to the different investigators.
The reason why spinach plants have been chosen for this experiment is that they are particularly good at detecting chemicals in the air, but also in soil and groundwater.
” Plants are very good analytical chemists, ” says Strano. ” They have an extensive network of roots in the soil, they are constantly sampling groundwater and they have a way of self-feeding the transport of that water to the leaves .”