Glowing bacteria offer hope for safe detection of 100m landmines

The title of my article is “Glowing bacteria offer hope for safe detection of 100m landmines.” It comes from an online news site called The Guardian. It was posted on 4/13/17.

Summary: Researches have modified a bacteria to fluoresce when it comes into contact with the vapors of hidden land mines. The researchers noticed certain plants react to these vapors and modified bacteria to do the same. They scan the area with a laser to see the fluorescing bacteria and find the land mines.

This relates to what we’ve talked about in class through applications of microbes to benefit human life. By taking microbes and making small changes to their genome, we can entirely change their function. By using these bacteria, we are able to find explosives that could have otherwise hurt people.

I just thought this whole story was pretty neat. I know there’s a lot of talk about modifying microbes, but you hear very few stories that are actually successful. This article seems to be true to me. They admit that this group of researchers are not the first to develop bacteria that glow when exposed to explosive vapors, but they are the first to discover a way to detect the fluorescing bacteria.

If you could modify a microbe, what would you make it do?