weekly blog--one for the ages
This story has nothing to do with aging, but demonstrates the type of innovative research taking place that will surely transform our lives at some point in the future.
Consider the leafy green edible plant called spinach. It’s rich in flavonoids which act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol in check and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon. Spinach also contains folates which are good for your cardiovascular system, and magnesium, which helps lower high blood pressure. Further, studies have shown that spinach helps maintain a vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity.
Meanwhile, MIT Engineers took ordinary spinach plants and embedded them with carbon nanotubes capable of detecting nitroaromatics, compounds often used in bombs and land mines. If these chemicals are present in groundwater, the plant will take in the water, begin to emit a fluorescent signal, and then wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a Smartphone.
Plants already detect even subtle changes in their environment. With nanotechnology, plants can now signal these changes to humans. This is one of the first demonstrations of engineering electronic systems into plants, an approach that the researchers call plant nanobionics.
Also of note this week:
The American Medical Association released a new text book that includes a section on how to make sure health-care is cost-effective and valuable to patients. STEM
According to the National Cancer Institute, one-third of cancer patients exhaust their savings to pay medical expenses, and patients forced into bankruptcy have significantly higher mortality rates than those who remain solvent. STEM