Pollution is a scourge that affects not only our cities, but also our homes. In particular, indoor air pollution has become a major health concern in recent years, and a houseplant is certainly not enough to change things.
This is because the pollutants such as fine dust that are found outside the houses are also added to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by the construction materials of the place where we live. Some of these pollutants are known to cause cancer, respiratory problems, and heart disease - essentially, they kill. And they do it to the beat of one holocaust a year.
Neoplants, produce a plant with superpowers
Neoplants is a Paris-based French startup that focuses on improving the ability of houseplants to capture pollution and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. The startup chose a high-potential plant and started genetically modifying it.
The target? Activating ways this plant, which already captures VOCs such as formaldehyde and benzene, transforms these compounds into a usable by-product.
How does the action of Neoplants work?
Neoplants modified the genome of the plant "pothos", one of the most typical for apartment, to make it able to transform formaldehyde from the air into sucrose and to transform benzene and other compounds into proteins.
Basically, the plant absorbs formaldehyde and benzene and produces proteins and sugars which it uses as nourishment. This growth process obviously allows it to progressively increase its ability to capture toxic agents. A living air purifier.
Neoplants Pothos could have a significant impact on air purification, especially if used on a large scale. An example of how the correct use of genetic technologies could help improve the quality of life of people around the world.