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Do butterflies hold the key to the next generation of chemical sensors? DARPA apparently thinks they might, and it’s just awarded GE a $6.3 million grant to further develop a project that the company’s research division began three years ago. That project was sparked by the discovery that the nanostructures from the wing scales of butterflies have acute chemical sensing properties, which GE has since been working to replicate in a sensing platform that could instantly detect a wide variety of chemical threats. What’s more, GE says that it’s sensors could eventually be made in “very small sizes, with low production costs,” which would let them be used for everything from emissions monitoring at power plants to food and beverage safety monitoring at home. Full press release is after the break.

More info here.

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