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November 29, 2004
Mine Detecting Plants

mine detecting plant

Vai Core77, the story of a Danish company that has developed a genetically modified plant that turns red when planted over buried land mines.

Decaying mines leach Nitrogen Oxide into the soil as they age, and the plant grows red in the presence of NO2. Cool.

I have mixed and relatively uninformed opinions on GMO, but this seems like a good use to me. I'm sure there's a down side, like the genetically modified gene in the plant will make its way into another plant, and then some Cambodian farmer will eat that plant and grow 9 testicles, but in the end, is that such a bad thing? I know I could use an extra set or two from time to time.

Seriously, I have no information on what the down sides of this application may be, but certainly reducing the death toll from the 100 million land mines in the world is a noble goal.

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