Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cybernetic Tiger Lillies

Are they still cyborgs if they're part machine, part plant? I ask because that's going to be the wave of the future, if our discarded nanotechnology ends up in plants. Now we not only have to worry about robot insurrection, but rhododendron ascension as well.

The University of Delaware has proven that plants can absorb nanoparticles into their tissues. With a little work, they found that pumpkin seeds were able to absorb iron oxide nanoparticles. Naturally, it was a soil physicist who did the study.

The alarm they're raising is that if the nanoparticles can get into plants, then other animals that eat those plants will be passing the particles along the food chain. That's not good news, but neither is the thought of these plants getting hold of advanced nanotechnolgy and using it to become superplants. Then we're screwed.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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