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High-Tech Plants: Power for the Future?


What’s new regarding plants? They continue to be a topic of interest for scientists. Reaching beyond development of incredible hybrids, some current research groups around the world are actively creating cyborg plants! Developing a living plant with electronic enhancements is no longer a dream. One team recently announced the exciting discovery of a wire growing up along a rose stem. Compatibility between miniscule electronic units and plants brings the possibility of growing high-energy natural power plants. Environmental monitoring is another advantage under consideration. Studies of how roots and leaves react to changes around them provides suggestions for creating robots with environmental monitoring capabilities. Certain enhancements can turn the plants themselves into munitions detectors.

Cover photo credits: The cyborg leaves of this weedy mustard relative contain tiny antennae. They help the plant capture more light, making more energy than normal leaves do. Michael Strano, MIT



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