Genetically engineered plant cleans air better than 30 air purifiers

Air purifiers help fight harmful chemicals in the environment but they cannot neutralise these compounds entirely

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(representational) A woman holds a pothos plant.— Unsplash
(representational) A woman holds a pothos plant.— Unsplash

A Paris-based startup has developed a genetically engineered plant with enhanced natural purifying properties that can clean the environment better than 30 air purifiers.

Not only the plant can add colour to the room, but it can also clean the air and create healthier surroundings.

Neoplants, the company that made the modified plant, chose a pothos plant and its root microbiome to pump the plant's natural cleaning properties. Dubbed Neo P1, the engineered plant is now available in the market for people to buy. 

Research studies have shown that both plants in the house and clean air can elevate mood and reduce anxiety. Neo P1 offers both in one product naturally, not needing any electricity or battery to run.

The makers claim that Neo P1 is 30 times better and more efficient than the top plants at NASA. 

Plants are naturally better than machines when it comes to dealing with the reactive chemicals present in cleaning supplies, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are detrimental to health and can affect the central nervous system. They can cause serious headaches and irritate the eyes, nose and throat.

"The air in your home is up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air due to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)," the official website of the start-up said.

"These include some of the most carcinogenic molecules on the planet — emitted by solvents and varnishes used in most furnishings, textiles, cleaning and personal hygiene products."

Air purifiers help fight harmful chemicals in the environment but they cannot neutralise these compounds entirely. This means that while purifiers are a good option, the air is still left impure.

Experts at Neoplants completely mapped the entire genome of the pothos plant, the most popular houseplant in North America. The chief technical officer and molecular biologist at the company said that the process was like "building a plane while flying".  

The genetically engineered houseplant, which is not any different otherwise from other plants costs $179. It is not more resistant to pests nor does it grow any faster.

Speaking of the plant's maintenance, the company said that "it is cleverly designed with a water reservoir to maintain optimal health of the plant and provide you maximum convenience."