Environment

This plant can clean indoor air

Researchers have genetically modified a common indoor plant, pothos ivy, to remove pollutants inside the house, including chloroform and benzene that have been linked to cancer, according to a new study. The modified plants express a protein, called P450 2E1 or 2E1, that transforms these compounds into molecules that the plants can then use to support their own growth.

“People have not really been talking about these hazardous organic compounds in homes, and I think that is because we could not do anything about them,” said Stuart Strand, Professor at the University of Washington.

For the study, the team tested how well their modified plants could remove the pollutants from air compared to normal pothos ivy.

They put modified plant and normal pothos ivy in glass tubes and added either benzene or chloroform gas into each tube. They found that the concentration of either gas did not change for normal plants. However, for the modified plants, the concentration of chloroform dropped by 82%, and it was almost undetectable by day six.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 2:51:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/this-plant-can-clean-indoor-air/article25791735.ece

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