Synthetic biosensors: Engineered plants could detect flu viruses and crop pests before they become global problems

download
Credit:Credit: PlantVine

You’ve felt sick ever since you started working in a different office …. but building management can’t find the source of the problem. Eventually …. a leak in the bathroom leads to the discovery of black mold …. But what if the issue could have been detected long before employees became sick?

While currently science fiction, that scenario could eventually become a reality thanks to research being done at the Center for Agricultural Synthetic Biology (CASB) in the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture.

…. CASB’s current work is focused on phytosensors—plants that are used as biosensors for a variety of applications. In addition to warning homeowners of contaminants in their living space, these sensors could also warn farmers of a pathogen in a specific area of their fields or detect MRSA or influenza in a hospital setting, giving people time to mitigate or solve these issues before they become major problems.

Related article:  Sustainable dyes and fabrics created through synthetic biology promise to revolutionize fashion industry

[P]hytosensors may not be able to match the detection level a smoke detector can provide, [but] they have the potential to remove the compound from the environment by filtering or chemical conversion ….

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend