OutlookWhat could be possible in a future with sensor plants?
With our project, we lay the groundwork for identifying chemical weapon contaminants in soil. Detector plants could therefore be used for the detection of chemical weapons that are not easily detectable by conventional methods.
During our Human Practices work, further ideas for the use of our system in a sensor plant were formed. For example, a use for the remediation of soil with plants would be conceivable. For that, one could examine if plants take up the chemical weapon degradation products and accumulate them. One could also develop a solution, where the plants degrade the accumulated substances into harmless products. The general question if plants take up weaponized chemicals and how long the chemicals remain inside the plants, could also help to investigate the use of chemical weapons after a terrorist attack. It is also worth to notice, that Alfred Krippendorf, CEO of the Hazard Control GmbH and expert in detection and destruction of chemical weapons is very interested in continuing our project together with us.
One possibility for new applications would be to replace the specific receptor of the signaling cascade, especially because we already successfully increased the receptor’s affinity for one of our chemicals of interest. This would allow the detection of additional chemical contaminants, for example pesticides, heavy metals, pollutants, or explosives.
- To sustaine long lasting vision into the future, one needs a good partners: iGEM-Phototrophs