Biologists brought a room plant cleansing air from carcinogens

Researchers from the University of Washington created a gene-modified room plant, which absorbs the molecules of chloroform and benzene from the air, using them to maintain their own growth.

In fact, scientists turned the scoundax or «damn ivy» in a biological filter, which is capable of fighting the smallest particles that are not captured by traditional air purification equipment. The unique capabilities of the plant are due to the fact that he added a gene responsible for the formation of a cytochra protein P450 2E1, which is usually produced by mammalian liver to neutralize toxins. With it, the body converts benzene into phenol, and chloroform in carbon dioxide and chloride ions.


During the test, the samples of conventional and GM-Izda were closed for 11 days in tubes with pollutant substances. In test tubes with conventional Szindapsus, the concentration of gases has not changed over time. However, the modified plants in just three days reduced the concentration of chloroform by 82%, and on the sixth day almost completely absorbed it. Although a little slower, but the benzene content also decreased: 75% to the eighth day.

Despite the excellent indicators, filtering occurs passively, therefore, air circulation is required for efficient cleaning. If the plant is just standing in the corner of the room, then it will certainly clean the surrounding space, but without a directional flux to harmful particles from the other end of the room will need a lot of time to get on the leaves. Therefore, for quick filtering, it is necessary to place a scinthodsus under the fan driving the air through its leaves.

Scientists also work on the methods of combating other harmful gases. The team from the University of Rutgers has created