The Cyborg rose is an electrifying flower, and it is not just because it has a beautiful bloom! Scientists have created the Cyborg rose, which is a living thing that has electrodes running through its vascular system.
According to Canada Journal on November 21, using semi-conductive polymers the Cyborg rose now has both analog and digital electronic circuits living inside of it. In layman’s terms, this rose grew with these electronic circuits threaded inside of it. So if this was a person (and thankfully it’s not) it would be close to a cyborg, which is a term often used in movies for half robot and half human.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes a Cyborg as “a person whose body contains mechanical or electrical devices and whose abilities are greater than the abilities of normal humans.” researchers at Linköping University Laboratory for Organic Electronics have shown “that both analog and digital electronic circuits can be created inside living flowers, bushes and trees.”
The research group built the key components of electronic circuits using the channels that distribute water and nutrients to the plants. While this sounds like quite the scientific feat, where does this go from here? Do the flowers light up on demand? Do they pick up radio stations so flowers will come with music soon?
No, it is even more exciting than this. Gizmodo reports that scientists have created the world’s first cyborg plant. Scientist believe over the long term this could be used to regulate the plant’s physiology. “This can lead to smart plants that can sense and display environmental changes, or crops whose growth can be regulated at the flick of a switch. Or plant-based fuel cells that convert the photosynthetic sugars into electricity,” reports Gizmodo.
This will allow the scientists to manipulate the concentration of the different substances in the plant and possibly regulate growth and development. Just think of all the problems this could solve in the future with the world’s food supply in areas of draught.
Using the findings from this research, they can create plants in which the leaves change color, but they realize this won’t be very useful, but it can be done. This has opened up a host of possibilities, “such as utilizing energy from photosynthesis in a fuel cell, or reading and regulating the growth and other inner functions of plants.”
“As far as we know, there are no previously published research results regarding electronics produced in plants. No one’s done this before,” said Professor Berggren, who was the lead researcher in this latest accomplishment.