What if spinach… but emails. That’s apparently what a bunch of scientists at MIT were thinking when they engineered spinach plants which are capable of spamming emails from dawn to dusk.
But it’s a little more useful than it sounds. Euronews reports that the scientists have turned spinach plants into living sensors which can detect explosives.
When the roots of the plant detect nitroaromatics in groundwater (a telltale of landmines in the area) carbon nanotubes within the leaves of the plant put out a signal. This leafy signal is then detected by infrared cameras, which email an alert to scientists.
“Plants are very good analytical chemists,” MIT Professor Michael Strano told the website.
“They have an extensive root network in the soil, are constantly sampling groundwater, and have a way to self-power the transport of that water up into the leaves.”
This technology could have other uses, too. One day nanoengineered spinach might even be used to monitor climate change.
So it’s actually pretty cool and useful. But that hasn’t stopped people from wondering what it would be like if we made vegetables sentient enough to use one of the lamest and most outdated forms of digital communication.
The research was first published back in 2016, but it’s not until right now, of all times, that people are realising how utterly cursed the whole idea is.
Finally. I was going to scream if spinach insisted on another meeting that should have been an email. https://t.co/L6vsoA2a8S
— Ambrose Persimmon (@MrPersimmon) February 1, 2021
meanwhile I'm left unread while fucking spinach is replying all
— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) February 1, 2021
Please. The last thing we need is spinach wanting to “loop back” on an email threat about someone’s yiayia’s spanakopita recipe.
Spinach belongs in food, goddamnit.
It should not be joining the ranks of bored uncles, Hillary Clinton and various online apparel retailers in wanting us to spam us with long-winded diatribes (which really could be texts) as if it’s 2004 all over again.
Scientists need to stop.https://t.co/LMQ3X6FbFZ
— Dave Barry (@rayadverb) February 1, 2021
— soul nate (@MNateShyamalan) February 2, 2021
3 months from now there will be nazi spinach pic.twitter.com/TJJNOIrvnC
— Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) (@IwriteOK) February 2, 2021
As useful as it might be in real life, the idea is frankly far to cursed to be taken seriously.
Sorry scientists, but do not email my