New genetically engineered houseplant cleans air as efficiently as 30 air purifiers

A Paris-based startup has developed a genetically engineered houseplant that can literally clean the air inside your home. The plant builds on the natural cleaning properties already offered by houseplants. So, while it adds a color to any room you put it in, it also actively keeps the air cleaner than 30 air purifiers.

The company, called Neoplants, modified a pothos plant as well as its root microbiome to pump up the plant’s natural air-cleaning properties a bit. Called Neo P1, the genetically engineered houseplant has just hit the market, and you can buy it now.

Plants can add a little something to your home. Not only can they improve your mood and help reduce anxiety, according to researchers, but they can also clean the air thanks to their natural air-purifying properties. With this genetically engineered houseplant, however, you get more than a basic level of purification. In fact, Neoplants claims that Neo P1 is 30 times more effective than previous NASA plants.

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But how is this genetically engineered houseplant better than an air purifier? Well, for starters, plants are better equipped to handle volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are highly reactive chemicals found in cleaning supplies, building materials, paints, and the list goes on. VOCs are notoriously terrible for human health and can cause irritation to the human body.

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house plants
Houseplants provide natural air-purifying qualities in your home. Image source: DimaBerlin / Adobe

While air purifiers can help, they usually don’t completely neutralize these harmful compounds, which means they can’t really be removed from the air. See the problem? But plants like this genetically engineered houseplant are better equipped to neutralize VOCs, so having houseplants in your home can help improve indoor air quality.

Neoplants start with pothos because it is one of the most popular plants in North America. However, the work was not easy, because the company had to completely map the genome of the pothos itself, something that a molecular biologist and the company’s chief technical officer equated to building an airplane while flying. (through inverted) As a result, genetically engineered houseplants are better equipped to eliminate VOCs.

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In addition, Neoplants says that the houseplant’s air-purifying effectiveness is the only thing the company has touched upon. It does not grow as fast, and it is less resistant to pesticides than normal pothos plants. The genetically engineered houseplant will sell for $179, which is more expensive than regular houseplants.

But, considering that it also works as one of the best air purifiers out there, the price is reasonable.


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