Bio-engineered Plants May Be Spying on You

Do you talk to your plants? You may want to watch what you say to them. The US Department of Defense has a new program whose purpose is to genetically modify plants to create undercover ground cover for spying on the enemy … and these days it seems like we’re ALL the enemy. Should you start pruning suspicious shrubbery down to the roots? Checking the cornfield for ears with ears?

“Plant sensors developed under the program will sense specific stimuli and report these signals with a remotely recognized phenotype detectable by existing hardware platforms.”

DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) new TIA (tree intelligence agency) is called the Advanced Plant Technologies program and its purported goal is to use nature’s own (with a few genetic tweaks) to watch for and report any environmental anomalies that might signal a chemical attack. That sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it?

“The program aims to control and direct plant physiology to detect chemical, biological, radiological, and/or nuclear threats, as well as electromagnetic signals.”

Electromagnetic signals? That’s where the plant program starts to sound a little sinister. Plants using their roots to listen in on buried communications cables and “report these signals” to existing hardware platforms?


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