Genetically modified bacteria can find mines and explosives

The American military-industrial company Raytheon, within the framework of the DARPA project, together with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), is investigating the possibility of using luminous bacteria in the search for explosive devices. It is proposed to use two types of microorganisms, one of which will detect explosives, and the other will signal this by emitting light.

Anti-personnel mines are one of the most dire consequences of numerous wars. According to the UN, every year around the world they are blown up and killed up to 20, 000 people. The situation is further complicated by the fact that recently new technologies have been used in the development of mines, which greatly complicate their detection.

The use of genetically modified bacteria to search for explosives is one of the ideas that, according to scientists, will help solve the problem of global demining. For this, Raytheon specialists use the developments of synthetic biology.

Two strains of bacteria will participate in the search: the first find an explosive and interact with other bacteria, which, after receiving information, begin to glow brightly enough that cameras that can be installed on drones are immediately recorded.