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Scientists have a genetically engineered houseplant to remove carcinogens from the air

In the Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Washington, scientists change home-grown genetically modified houses to reduce chlorinated water and toxic molecules. The plant, called "pothos ivy", designed a protein called 2E1, which allows the distribution of benzene and chloroform as a component to its needs. Typical chemical properties of the target are found in small quantities, over time, but the molecule size is too small to be trapped by HEPA filters. Exposure to chemicals that have been linked to cancer, scientific achievement is a good news for human health.

Research published on the 19th of December of 2018 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, Long Zhang, Ryan Routsong, and Stuart E. Strand described the process used to change pothos ivy plants in this process. The plant was chosen and robust and able to grow in different conditions and used protein – P450 2E1, short "2E1" – it is naturally found in all mammals. In humans, 2E1 is in the liver and the alcohol breaks down, so it is not helpful to break the air contaminants. For this reason, the team's work is focused on the fact that its functionality is out of the body; They call them the concept of "green liver".

Modified pothos ivy plant in the laboratory. | Credit: Mark Stone / University of Washington

A 2E1 synthetic protein in rabbits was introduced into the pothos ivy, which indicated each cell. After a three-day period, the chloroform concentration was reduced by 82 percent after a period of three days, after a period of three days after the genetic modification, the concentration of benzene was reduced by 75% per day, eight plants and respective diesels. In order to achieve the benefits of functionality changed in the home environment, the chemicals must be moved to the plants where they are placed. "If you grow a plant on the edge of a room, it will have a great impact on that room," said Stuart Strand, one of the scientists at the study. "But without the flow of air, at the other end of the house it will take a molecule to reach the plant."

Benzene is a chemical industry used to make plastics, dyes, detergents and pesticides, and is generally found in rural areas and urban areas. The links that are linked to the cancer are very clear, usually due to leukemia. While the most damaging ones are very small, it can be built over time, especially heavy traffic, cigarette smoke and low ventilation. Chloroform is a chemical that can be used when chlorine can be used to clean drinking water, water treatment plants and pools. Although there is no direct relationship between cancer and chloroform, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that it is a probable human carrousel, due to research that closely associates with cancer intake.

The team that has been working for more than two years to operate the factory engineering process has had a large amount of time in similar months for similar projects. However, the passage of time was deserved due to the results obtained and the hardness of the plant. Nowadays, the ability to develop formaldehyde breakdown is being carried out using a different protein. Formaldehyde has a substance in most buildings and is associated with tobacco smoke, cancer, asthma and allergies.

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