Bionic plants boost energy and detect pollutants

Augmenting plants with nanomaterials could increase their energy production and enhance their uses beyond natural functions.

A team of researchers from MIT, led by Professor Michael Strano, embedded carbon nanotubes in the chloroplast of plants (where photosynthesis takes place), boosting their ability to capture light energy by 30%. They also modified plants to detect gas nitric oxide.

The team aims to create plants that act as self-powered devices, such as detectors for chemical weapons or monitors of environmental pollutants, paving the way for a new scientific field dubbed ‘plant nanobionics’.

Read more at Massachusetts Institute of Technology