Dr. June Medford, a biologist from Colorado State University has predicted that, there may arrive a day when certain plants or flowers in your workplace suddenly turn black, everybody that saw this condition will start running out from the building or office immediately.
This is the near future possibility for smart plants that involve naturally-occurring receptor proteins for detection, in order to help detecting airborne toxic, pollutants or explosives. Base on researches done by Dr. Medford, plants including tobacco have sensitive sensing for airborne substances, and unlike dogs, plants do not need to be trained, housed or fed.
Basically, these plants are eco-friendly, need little or no maintenance cost and offer equivalent or better detecting capability.
In the first generation of plants, the receptors were able to detect pollutants and explosives in the air or soil near each plant, and caused chlorophyll suppression within a matter of hours. In future generations of plants, Medford and her CSU team would like to get that reaction time down to a matter of minutes. They are also interested in causing the plants to change color in ways not visible under normal conditions, so that authorities using the right equipment (such as infrared lights) could detect the activity of people such as bomb-makers, before those people knew that they had been detected.
Once the pollutant or explosive itself has been removed, the plants return to their usual green coloration.
You might want to call these type of plants the Natural Sniffer, will be a life saving gadget if put in places where terrorist-risk considered high. The likelihood is, locations including airports, stadiums, malls, shopping complex, apartments and movie theaters will become a potential customers in near future.
Images Courtesy: Colorado State University
Green technology for more green jobs? Absolutely!