The Department of Defense Is Developing Plants That Are Spies
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to bioengineer
Based on the information DARPA has released about their plans, it seems that the program would use existing hardware and satellites to remotely monitor the stimuli reactions of the genetically modified plants.
"Plants are highly attuned to their environments and naturally manifest physiological responses to basic stimuli such as light and temperature, but also in some cases to touch, chemicals, pests, and pathogens," APT program manager Blake Bextine said
in a statement
. "Emerging molecular and modeling techniques may make it possible to reprogram these detection and reporting capabilities for a wide range of stimuli, which would not only open up new intelligence streams, but also reduce the personnel risks and costs associated with traditional sensors."
DARPA began taking proposals for the APT program late last week. The agency's Biological Technologies Office (BTO) is hosting an event for proposers on December 12. The Department of Defense assures us that early research will be done "in contained laboratory and greenhouse facilities, as well as simulated natural environments." The next step would be field trials closely monitored by U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Presumably, these precautions and protocols are meant to keep their Frankenflower Watcher creations from going rogue and forming a plantae-singularity that annihilates human civilization to punish us for our sins against Mother Earth.
[ DARPA ]