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Portable Sniffer Technology Identifies Plant Disease

North Carolina State University announced that researchers there have developed portable sniffing technology that plugs into a smartphone to detect plant diseases in the field. The device works by sampling the airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that plants release through their leaves. The type and concentration of VOCs changes when a plant is sick, so the device can tell when plants are sick and which disease they have. The tool could help farmers quickly differentiate between plant diseases with similar symptoms, right in the field.