The US Government Is Working on SpyPlants

first_img I don’t think I’ve seen a James Bond movie that used plants as flexible cameras or a secret recording device, but the government is hard at work making that a reality. Genetically modified greenery could well be placed as living sensors or scanners, according to the Independent.DARPA, also known as the badass, super-sciencey part of the military, is working on the project. The organization is responsible for much of the sweet tech we see coming out the military like… y’know, the internet. It exists solely to fund the most pie-in-the-sky weird technology, but even so, the Advanced Plant Technologies (APT) program is a whole new realm of weird.“Plants are highly attuned to their environments and naturally manifest physiological responses to basic stimuli such as light and temperature, but also in some cases to touch, chemicals, pests and pathogens,” Blake Bextine, manager of the APT program, said. Plants do have a lot of advantages — if they can be modified to record or send some type of data, then you’ve got a self-sustaining machine that naturally reacts to all kinds of things in the environment. They’d be almost impossible to detect, they could be placed just about anywhere, and again THESE ARE PLANTS THAT CAN SPY ON PEOPLE. I would be freaked out by the idea if it wasn’t so friggin’ cool.“Emerging molecular and modeling techniques may make it possible to reprogram these detection and reporting capabilities for a wide range of stimuli, which would not only open up new intelligence streams, but also reduce the personnel risks and costs associated with traditional sensors,” Bextine said.We already have tons of techniques to monitor plants from just about anywhere, and, when combined with modified organisms, we could, for instance, have an early warning system for nuclear attacks, or monitor an area for biological weapons. Plants naturally absorb light and turn it into food, too, so a simple system that leverages those innate traits would be comparatively simple. It may even be possible to use them to monitor for electromagnetic signals well outside the visible light range. “Advanced Plant Technologies is a synthetic biology program at heart,” Bextine said. “As with DARPA’s other work in that space, our goal is to develop an efficient, iterative system for designing, building, and testing models so that we end up with a readily adaptable platform capability that can be applied to a wide range of scenarios.”The big issue is that being a plant is actually pretty tough. One of the reasons plants don’t tend to move or do much is that while they have an abundant supply of energy, they can’t convert sunlight into anything useful very quickly. Prior experiments to make plants that could change colors in the presence of certain stimuli, for instance, didn’t live too long. Even the tiny modifications cost the organism too much energy and caused too many problems for it to really work. This time, though, the agency is confident those challenges can be overcome. I’m just jazzed that we’re going to have plants. That can spy on things. Spy-plants. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetcenter_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend last_img read more

SquareEnix Officially Announces New Tomb Raider Game

first_imgStay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. The 11 Best Video Games to Play With Your Significant OtherShadow of the Tomb Raider is Better With Friends center_img Square-Enix ended nearly two year’s worth of rumors today by officially declaring a new Tomb Raider game is in the works. The company failed to disclose many details in their brief statement, but it’s good to know a third installment in the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise is actually happening.“Square-Enix is excited to share some big news with you next year,” reads the statement on Twitter. “Honestly, we wish we could share it with you right now, but we’re taking a new approach this time. A new Tomb Raider game is coming. Driven by our goal of putting our fans first, we want you to know that it won’t be long between the official reveal and when you can play. Our journey will begin with a major event in 2018. We simply can’t wait to take you on Lara Croft’s defining adventure.”Rumors about a third installment in the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise began all the way back in 2015. During that year’s Gamescom event, Square-Enix head Phil Rogers hinted at a third game. This was interesting considering the second title, Rise of the Tomb Raider, wasn’t even released yet. After that, the title “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” was leaked during a powerpoint presentation. Whether or not that leak was legitimate is anyone’s guess.Rise of the Tomb Raider was released exclusively on Xbox One in late 2015. The game didn’t do great sales-wise on the platform, but things picked up once it released on PC and PlayStation 4. According to GamesIndustry International, Rise of the Tomb Raider has now sold 7 million copies worldwide. Combine that with the 11 million made by its predecessor and it’s clear why Square-Enix would want to continue developing new games in the series.2018 is a smart time to announce a new Tomb Raider game. After all, the live-action Tomb Raider movie lands in theaters on March 16, 2018. This film is based on the rebooted franchise, so there is certainly nice synergy between the movie and games now. It’s unclear when exactly Square-Enix will hold this “major” event. If the game’s reveal and release date are as close as the tweet suggests, perhaps we may see it in late 2018 or early 2019. Whatever happens, 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Tomb Raider fans.last_img read more

Larva is the Creepiest Childrens Cartoon on Netflix

first_img Kids’ TV shows are way different from when we grew up, but some are still wackier than ever. Larva, an animated children’s series available on Netflix, is by far the creepiest cartoon to watch. And, it gives other Halloween horror flicks a run for their money because the main characters die over and over again.Photo Credit: NetflixIn the series, Red and Yellow, two little larvae, embark on crazy adventures through the grimiest and most unforgiving places on Earth, including sewer grates, spider webs, and floods. The worst part? You’ll watch them torture themselves in each episode, as they struggle to defeat their challenging situations and the insanity of their friendship. Like other horror movies, you’ll witness the slow death of the characters, as they drown, experience fatal reactions from mosquito bites, and become frozen mummies.On Netflix, you can stream all three seasons of Larva, but be warned: it’s downright chilling. Even though it might generate a lot of laughter from kids, it’s a series of sinister events for the characters. But, despite its gruesome theme, Larva has racked up more than four million views on YouTube. People love this grotesque series, even though it has a dark comedy edge. You might enjoy Red and Yellow’s demise and their stupidly hilarious encounters with insect monsters, bad weather, and the disgusting world under our feet.More on Geek.com:‘Daredevil’ Season 3 Review: ‘Daredevil’ Overcomes Both its Past and Netflix DragThe Best Horror Movies on NetflixAvatar: The Last Airbender Gets (Another) Live-Action Remake on Netflix What to Stream on Netflix This WeekendZach Galifianakis Hits the Road in ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’ Trailer Stay on targetlast_img read more