By Nicola Davison, CNN
The connection between people and plants has long been the subject of scientific interest. Recent studies have found positive effects.
A study conducted in Youngstown, Ohio, for example, discovered that greener areas of the city experienced less crime. In another, employees were shown to be 15% more productive when their sparse workplaces were decorated with houseplants.
The engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have taken it a step further — tinkering with the actual composition of plants in order to get them to perform diverse, even outlandish functions.
These include plants that have sensors printed onto their leaves to show when they’re short of water; one that can record and transmit 3D images of its surroundings; and even a plant that can detect chemicals used in explosives in groundwater.