Daily Bread for 1-27-11 | FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 1-27-11

Good morning,

Whitewater’s forecast calls for about an inch of snow throughout the day, with a high temperature in the high twenties.

It’s Market Day at the high school today.

There’s a story over at Wired about the design of plants that can detect explosives.  Spencer Ackerman, in a post entitled, Grow Your Own Security: Prof Breeds Bomb-Spotting Plants, writes that

The next hydrangea you grow could literally save your life. With the help of the Department of Defense, a biologist at the University of Colorado has taught plant proteins how to detect explosives. Never let it be said that horticulture can’t fight terrorism.

Picture this at an airport, perhaps in as soon as four years: A terrorist rolls through the sliding doors of a terminal with a bomb packed into his luggage (or his underwear). All of a sudden, the leafy, verdant gardenscape ringing the gates goes white as a sheet. That’s the proteins inside the plants telling authorities that they’ve picked up the chemical trace of the guy’s arsenal.

Here’s a video about Dr. June Medford’s research:

(Wired includes a link to Medford’s paper on the discovery for the technically inclined: Programmable Ligand Detection System in Plants through a Synthetic Signal Transduction Pathway.)

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