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Genetically Modified Houseplant that Cleans the Air

With the rising pollution in the environment, breathing in fresh oxygen is a luxury. We have several devices or gadgets like HEPA filters installed in our houses to clean up the air. But the monthly expenditure on electricity bill is high. The researchers of the University of Washington have come up with a solution for that as well. They have genetically modified a common household plant, pothos ivy, to remove the chloroform and benzene in the air around. They induced a synthetic mammalian protein inside cytochrome P450 2E1, or popularly known as 2E1, that can convert benzene into phenol and chloroform into carbon dioxide and chloride ions. 2E1 can be beneficial for the plant, too. Plants can use carbon dioxide and chloride ions to make their food, and they use phenol to help make components of their cell walls. The researchers are yet to explore more into this.

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