October 27, 2005

Sugar 'Pops' Indeed!

From "gizmag":
he Danish company Aresa Biodetection has been engaged for several years in development and testing of genetically modified (GM) Arabidopsis plants that detect explosives present in the soil from landmines and unexploded ordance (UXO). The GM plants turn from red to green in the presence of explosives, within three to five weeks of growth. Geir Bj'rsvik, senior advisor on landmines at Norwegian People Aid, a humanitarian aid group, says of the discovery: "This is a promising development in the efforts to find a safe and cost effective solution to detect mines, and is likely to be a very welcome addition to current methods if successfully passing further testing in areas of operation." The article reports that Aresa has developed the GM plan ts to the stage where they are becoming commercially viable. It notes that the plants' growth can be strictly controlled because they are self pollinating and "conditionally fertile such that they are male sterile." According to the article, more than a million people have been killed or maimed by landmines since 1975; more than 100 million landmines are buried and active in the world today. The article can be viewed online at the link below.
[biotech.org] - Art Caplan

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