Aresa Biodetection worked hard on the development

The Mine Detecting Plant

For years, the biotech company Aresa Biodetection worked hard on the development of a genetically modified plant which could be brought to change its colour from green to red if land mines were present in the soil immediately beneath it.

The development of the plant – also known as RedDetect – required an immense amount of resources and the people behind this work were driven only by the desire to contribute to increased safety for humans and animals as the primary tool for clearing land for mines.

The plant was designed to change its colour when its roots came into contact with nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The main part of the work was based on Arabidopsis plants but also tobacco plants have played an important role in the development efforts.

Sadly, the humanitarian objective was not sufficient – the invention proved unable to win the commercial battle against machine-based mine clearing devices despite the environmental and humanitarian focus manifested in the mine plant.

The plant received much interest and Aresa Biodetection was awarded several prizes for their efforts to provide a lasting, humanitarian solution to a life threatening, although man-made, problems.

Read more about the plant and the people behind here.

The Mine Detecting Plant is mentioned in the article  Five Danish inventions that have made a big difference (article in Danish) published by the Danish Patent and Trademark Office in 2020.