GMO houseplant filters carcinogens

Jan 04, 2019

Researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a common houseplant — pothos ivy or devil’s ivy — to remove chloroform and benzene from the air.

 The study showed that a detoxifying transgene, mammalian cytochrome P450 2e1, can be expressed in a houseplant, suggesting that biofilters using transgenic plants could remove VOCs from home air at useful rates.

Small molecules like chloroform, which is present in small amounts in chlorinated water, or benzene, which is a component of gasoline, build up in homes when people use hot water, or when cars or lawn mowers are stored in attached garages. These compounds are too small to be captured by even HEPA air filters and exposure to each has been linked to cancer.

Read the study 

Read about how CDMO iBio replaced traditional bioreactors with vacuum-infiltrated Nicotiana benthamiana plants to quickly and efficiently produce biotherapeutics.