Researchers develop microbes and plants to detect explosives in soil

To detect toxic explosive residues in the soil – including unexploded artillery shells and other weapons – Florida researchers are using genetic engineering to modify microbes and plants that can be used as “biosensors.” The three-year research project, supported by a $2.3 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, will help clean up thousands of acres of land that have been used for military training in the United States and abroad.