A startup based in Paris has created a genetically engineered plant with improved natural purifying properties that is more effective at cleaning the air than 30 conventional air purifiers. The plant is not only a decorative accessory but also a healthful addition to the home. To enhance the plant’s inherent cleanliness, the company responsible for creating the modified plant, Neoplants, selected a pothos plant and its root microbiome. The engineered plant, named Neo P1, is now for sale to the public.
Having houseplants and keeping a clean home have each been shown to improve mood and lessen anxiety. Neo P1 provides both features without the need for batteries or electricity. The developers of Neo P1 claim that it is 30 times more effective than NASA’s best plants. Cleansing products contain reactive chemicals and volatile organic molecules, both of which are more effectively handled by plants than by machinery (VOCs). The central nervous system is particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of volatile organic compounds. They can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat in addition to giving you a pounding headache.
According to the company’s website, “the air in your house is up to five times more contaminated than the external atmosphere owing to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Most furniture, textiles, cleaning, and personal hygiene products contain solvents or varnishes, which release some of the most carcinogenic molecules known to science. While air purifiers are effective, they cannot completely remove harmful chemicals from the air. This means that even with the use of filters, the air is not completely clean.
The most common houseplant in North America, the pothos, has had its entire genome mapped by experts at Neoplants. Priced at $179, the genetically altered houseplant is indistinguishable from regular plants. It is “cleverly engineered with a water reservoir to preserve optimal health of the plant and allow you maximum ease,” the business said of the plant’s upkeep.