Mine detector weed

In one year, at least 26,000 people are killed or injured by at least 100 million undiscovered landmines.

Dogs, flails and carefully probing on hands and knees are tedious and dangerous methods of mine detection.

Now a common weed has been re-engineered to turn purple if explosives are nearby.

Thale Cress - a mine detector weedThe leaves of a DNA-modified Thale Cress, long used in research because it matures in as little as three weeks, changes color in contact with nitrogen dioxide evaporating from explosives in the soil.

Among many worries about releasing man-made DNA, a major charity with 5,500 deminers and 120 heavy machines worries that the plantings may be unreliable. [BBC]

Reporter System In Plants
The Danish biotech company Aresa has been granted patents on the system behind the landmine detecting plant called RedDetectâ„¢.

A trial has been approved in Serbia to test the technology behind the landmine detecting plant.

RedDetect’s color changing ability is remarkable. As importantly, this underscores advances in using plants as tools in the field.

Farmers may soon detect pests as quickly as plants! [previous link]