Spinach may finally relinquish its title as the facilitator of terror at the dinner table for generations of children thanks to a recent innovation by MIT researchers and scientists. In an article published by MIT News, the fusion of the much-maligned super food with nanotechnology in creating a viable technological base for identifying the chemical components of various explosives is highlighted.
A team at MIT has successfully navigated the challenging field of nanobionics to merge micro-electrical components with plant cells in creating the framework for a natural bomb alert. After scientists inject specially manufactured nanoparticles into the leaf layer of the Spinach plant, a florescent signal is emitted which can be interpreted through the process of shining a laser on the leaf and using a hand-held infrared detection device to determine if explosives are within proximity. The construction of the infrared sensor involves cost-effective DIY hardware within the Arduino realm.
While the technology is purely in the experimental stage, the wide-reaching possibilities of nanobionics have numerous applications from increased food production to the stringent management of natural resources. Why the initial headlines in the scientific community pertaining to the dutiful mating between Spinach plants and electronics are confined to the discovery of a possible incendiary device is baffling considering the expanse of regions of drought currently restricting the amount of possible food grown on a global scale. Could the plant sensors not act as individual weather stations or soil moisture monitors? Sometimes, the notion of K.I.S.S. or keep it simple stupid is lost in menagerie of mental masturbation and false hope.
Read the full MIT News article here.