Plants have important things to say and University of Utah electrical and computer engineering associate professor Hanseup Kim wants to listen to them.

Kim leads a team of UofU engineers who have received a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to design and build small chemical sensors that can “sniff” out when a plant is being attacked by insects or overwhelmed by weeds. The research is to benefit the production of biomass from corn, which is used to create ethanol for gasoline.

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