Would you buy a GMO houseplant that could really scrub your air of pollutants?

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Thanks for the information. How long would it take a SuperPothos (at STP) with a surface area of 1 square meter to clear a room completely of, say, 1 microgram of benzene, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, or dichlorobenzene?
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On Tuesday, January 8, 2013 9:02:35 PM UTC-8, Billy wrote:

Since uptake and degradation of trace pollutants is first-order (i.e., the degradation rate is proportional to the concentration remaining), this question should be restated as "How long would it take for 99% of the pollutant to be degraded". If we assume that the degradation rates we measured with the 2E1 transformed tobacco plants in 40 mL bottles also applies to the SuperPothos plants in a room, and we adjust for the difference leaf areas, then 1 m2 of plant leaf should take up 99% of the benzene in the room in about 1.6 hours. Similar times for chloroform and the other pollutants attacked by 2E1.
Of course, this question is best answered by experimentation.
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I presume that is 99% of 2.04 micrograms of benzene.
Thank you.
It seems that you make a good case, and I would think that there are many who would jump at your product. Personally, I prefer to reflect on it for awhile, and see if there aren't any unintended consequences. In a world where scalawags seem intent on poisoning the biosphere, your plants may be needed by the entire world.
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On Thursday, January 10, 2013 5:55:19 PM UTC-8, Billy wrote:

Yes 99% of any concentration. Of course transfer of the pollutant from the bulk air of the room to the surface of the leaves is different from that transfer in a small vial (our experiments so far), so we need better, bigger experiments with a real houseplant (not tobacco). But we can't do that without funding.
Should we turn our backs on a promising method for removal of known and serious pollutants because of fear of unstated unintended consequences. Compared to the ongoing and unacceptably high exposure of our children to these indoor air pollutants? When a cheap and efficient method for removal looks to be close at hand?
Part of our proposal for crowd sourced funding was to test the transformed pothos for increased invasiveness or fitness in the environment (which would be bad) so we planned tests for increased resistance to cold, resistance to a range of herbicides. Without funding, it will be hard to run all of these tests, but we will try.
But we can't test for the unimagined. If you or other list readers have specific fears about harm that would caused by the release of pothos (Epipremnum aureum) transformed with cytochrome P450 2E1, hygromycin resistance, and the GUS genes, please contact me so that we can design experiments to test.
We will do these experiments as part of our diligence, but we don't expect to find any increase in fitness because the genes have known function, and they do not help the plant to our knowledge (and experience in the case of the hygromycin resistance and GUS reporter gene). The 2E1 gene has been studied for 20 years or more and its function is well described. It is a detoxifying protein, one of the most powerful and important detoxifying enzymes known. But plants expressing 2E1 (and the other 2) grow just like the untransformed plants, no worse and no better.
Here is a question for those who consider transgenes to be pollutants: Can a gene that codes for the degradation of important environmental pollutants be considered a pollutant itself? When there are no plausible negative effect scenarios? The definition of pollution requires that the pollutant causes harm. Our plants do the opposite, they reduce harm.
I do wish to thank the list, especially David and Billy, for teaching me that most people are ignorant of the seriousness of the risk of indoor air pollutants, especially benzene and chloroform. I had assumed that the risk of these pollutants would be an easy sell, but I was wrong.
Stuart
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And here I thought you were a man of science, but what to my wondrous eyes appear, but another Willy Loman.
It would have been an easier sell, if you would have attributed the health costs of these toxics in terms of financial costs, quality of life, or in terms of decreased mortality. You offered to solve a problem whose dimensions were never illustrated. Are we talking about major injuries to our metabolisms, or the loss of years, days, hours, minutes from our lives? What is the cost of this ill defined cure? Will the existence of your environmentally cleansing plants encourage industry to release more pollutants into the environment? Did you mention any financial gain that you might accrue from the sales of this product. Do you have a prospectus for investors? When is your IPO?
In an age when our leaders tell us that to feed the poor, we must cut the taxes of the rich, can anyone be above suspicion?
Oh yeah, thanks for pissing me off. I'm sure you know what you can do with your plants.
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On Sunday, January 13, 2013 11:27:49 AM UTC-8, Billy wrote:

My, for a person who name calls and casts aspersions so easily, you have a very thin skin. I'll guess that your feelings were hurt when I noted your ignorance about the risks of indoor air pollutants. But there is nothing wrong with ignorance about a particular field of knowledge. Recognizing our ignorance and doing something about it with study and experimentation is what scientists do all the time. Of course, if one persists in ignorance despite the evidence, then we call that person stupid.
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Uh-Huh Billy 1/1/13 It seems that you make a good case, and I would think that there are many who would jump at your product. Personally, I prefer to reflect on it for awhile, and see if there aren't any unintended consequences. In a world where scalawags seem intent on poisoning the biosphere, your plants may be needed by the entire world.
Stewart 1/1/13 I do wish to thank the list, especially David and Billy, for teaching me that most people are ignorant of the seriousness of the risk of indoor air pollutants, especially benzene and chloroform. I had assumed that the risk of these pollutants would be an easy sell, but I was wrong.
Billy 1/13/13 And here I thought you were a man of science, but what to my wondrous eyes appear, but another Willy Loman.
It would have been an easier sell, if you would have attributed the health costs of these toxics in terms of financial costs, quality of life, or in terms of decreased mortality. You offered to solve a problem whose dimensions were never illustrated. ------
Speaking of which, you seem to be having a tough time selling this product to ANYBODY.
faculty.washington.edu/sstrand/Assets/FAQ.pdf Why not try to get a research grant from NSF, EPA or NIH (for your Superpothos)? We have tried, but without success. The reviewers had several problems with the proposals: they thought that the levels of chloroform and benzene in household air were too low to pose a significant risk, that too many plants would be needed to be practical, that limited air circulation would limit the effectiveness of the removal, that the topic was too applied and would not advance scientific knowledge significantly, and that the project should be funded privately. One of the reviewers expressed a personal philosophical opposition to genetically modified plants and another worried about negative outcomes of using genetically modified houseplants, without suggesting any specific negative scenarios. -----
The NSF, EPA, nor NIH won't fund your work, but you call people who have doubt about your work, ignorant? That's a lot of chutzpah, Stewie-boy.
Intimidating prospective buyers puts you in the Willy Loman group by doing anything to sell your widget.
Meanwhile back at the ranch,
<http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/consumer/09938.html Improving Air Quality in Your Home
<http://www.webmd.com/lung/features/12-ways-to-improve-indoor-air-quality

Breathe Easy: 5 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality WebMD Feature provided in collaboration with Healthy Child Healthy World
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/air/airtoxics/htm/sources.htm Sources of Toxic Air Pollution
<http://ewg.org/comm/ewg-california-control-toxic-fumes-household-product s-0> Control Toxic Fumes from Household Products
don't even mention benzene or chloroform. Is this where you ran into trouble with your argument with the NSF, EPA, and NIH?
It seems the best solution to benzene, and chloroform is to open your windows once and awhile. As YOU said in YOUR FAQ, " Once in the air chloroform persists in the atmosphere of the home, until it is degraded or it leaks out of the home. "
Oh, and tell me again how these plants will protect me from chloroform that comes from the shower head, while I shower.
Idiot!
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Stuart Strand wrote:

Most people in the USA are not sure that evolution is responsible for the existence of those potted plants, that pests might evolve to become resitant to sprays or that human activity is the cause of climate change. There is a sizable number who believe in astrology and moonplanting, that Fox News is giving them good information and that Osama Bin Laden is at this moment having a beer with Elvis in a little bar in Tupelo. You should get out more.
D
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On Sunday, January 13, 2013 3:43:03 PM UTC-8, David Hare-Scott wrote:

David, Glad you escaped the fires long enough to post a nasty little comment. Name calling is an unpleasant habit, and so is disparagement of an entire nation. Is it just me and most Yanks you dislike, or mankind in general?
I am still waiting for a response to my detailed and quantitative reply to your ill-informed and insulting request for the levels of the air pollutants that threaten our families. I provided the documentation you requested. What's your problem?
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Stuart Strand wrote:

I am not disparaging a nation buts its general lack of understanding of and trust in science and the ready acceptance of the lies of vested interest and plain* mumbo jumbo. You will find there is supporting evidence for all my examples. Maybe not for the bar in Tupelo.

I wanted to see if you were a marketdroid or a researcher and I asked for some way to distinguish between the options, why is that insulting? Stuart you are just a name on a message here, we get all manner of liars, conmen and good people who are the same. It now appears that you are genuine. Would you have it that all strangers are accepted on face value or just you and your project?
David
* I accidentally typed "palin" here but the spell checker caught it. Get thee behind me satin (slip).
D
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On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 4:25:26 PM UTC-5, Stuart Strand wrote:

I wouldn't buy a GM'd anything.
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On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 1:25:26 PM UTC-8, Stuart Strand wrote:

or I could upload the pdf for the list. Is it possible to do that in google groups?
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Only to a binary group which rec.gadens isn't.
D
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On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:29:49 PM UTC-8, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Too bad. Will one of the other options work ?
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