You would be surprised to hear what the latest tool employed to combat terrorism – a plant. Yup, that is right, the latest airport security tool is not a scanner that shoots images of you stark naked, but actually genetically manuipulated plants that are able to turn white whenever they detect trace amounts of TNT in the air. Researchers at Colorado State University were the brains behind this plant, and if all testing goes well, it could very well weave its way into airports within the span of just a few years. Plants, after all, do not know the meaning of fear and cannot run or hide from threats, hence the development of sophisticated systems that help them detect and respond to their environment. Having received a three-year $7.9 million grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in the U.S. Department of Defense to play around with, we do hope that they will speed up their research soonest possible so that we no longer need to get our hands randomly swiped for explosive substances.
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