The military agency DARPA always strives to make a terrible fairy tale come true. One of the latest publicized initiatives of the department is called "Advanced Plant Technologies" (Advanced Plant Technologies). Within its framework, scientists are looking for scientists who can change the physiology of plants so that they turn into living spy sensors.
The goal of the program is to genetically modify plants so that they trigger a response that is understandable to an external observer to specific changes in the environment. These include "biological, chemical and radiological threats", as well as electromagnetic signals. For example, from the working equipment of a potential enemy - they want to turn plants into passive organic sensors for the needs of the military.
The flora of the Earth is already sensitive to changes in the environment, but DARPA wants to see not just a “withered” flower, but to know exactly what caused it. Therefore, they need gene coding technology to "train" plants to respond appropriately to specific threats. So that, if new dangers appear, not to create measuring instruments, but simply to grow the appropriate seeds and sow the territory from the drone.
DARPA is very vague about what they want to track with spy plants. But we are ready to provide laboratories in which a variety of natural zones are simulated. Including hypothetical ones - one of the goals of the project is called minimization of risk when using personnel in non-standard conditions. Are they preparing a "green landing" for Mars?