Arabidopsis Thwarts Land Mines

A Copenhagen biotech firm has modified a common Arabidopsis to detect nitrogen dioxide and express red leaves instead of green in its presence.  Over 100 million landmines worldwide are a danger to humans and animals and leave prime agricultural land fallow.  Now the nitrogen dioxide that they outgas can be detected by this lowly thale-cress which is seeded by air.  When the plants grow and express the red color, mine removal teams know exactly where to direct their efforts.  The red color will also serve as a warning to passersby who can avoid stepping on the mines.  Very exciting news.

 Overview from the Landmine Survivors Network here.


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