A group of scientists working out of Rice University have developed a high-tech GMO-detection device that is designed to identify and assess quantities of genetically modified organisms that have infiltrated environments that they could potentially harm.
While GMOs have a lot of proven benefits, they can become problematic in certain environments. This is what prompted the researchers to develop their device, which was inspired by a fictional Star Trek gadget used to analyze alien presence. This earthly device is called a Light Transmission Spectrometer, and is designed to scan for the presence of proteins that prove the presence of GMOs, so that proactive measures can be taken to reduce the impact of these organisms on crops.
In keeping with this GMO-detecting device's source of inspiration, it actually holds potential in being used to scan for traces of life in extraterrestrial worlds.