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Plants Tricked Into Clean Up Act

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by sunkan, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    CHICAGO: Scientists have figured out a way to trick plants into doing the dirty work of environmental cleanup, US and British researchers reported on Monday.

    Researchers at the University of Washington have genetically altered poplar trees to pull toxins out of contaminated ground water, offering a cost-effective way of cleaning up environmental pollutants. A group of British experts, meanwhile, has developed genetically altered plants that can clean residues of military explosives from the environment.

    "Our work is in the beginning stages, but it holds great promise," said Sharon Doty, an assistant professor of forest resources at the University of Washington. Doty's research is part of an emerging area of study known as phytoremediation, which aims to use trees, grasses and other plans to remove hazardous materials. "Phytoremediation is basically a solar-powered pollutant-removal system," said Doty. "It uses the plant's natural ability to extract chemicals from water, soil, and air," Doty said.

    Using plants to do environmental cleanup is more than 10 times cheaper than other technologies. It is also less intrusive and more aesthetically pleasing, she said. Genetically modified poplar trees in Doty's lab sucked 91% of the toxin trichloroethylene from a liquid solution. Natural plants were only able to remove 3% of the toxin, which is the most common ground water contaminant in the US.

    The genetically modified plants in the study were grown in vials and were just several inches tall. But these tiny plants were able to metabolize the pollutant into harmless byproducts 100 times faster than the natural plants.
    Researchers at the University of York, meanwhile, devised genetically modified plants using genes from microbes that can degrade the explosive RDX, a potential cancer-causing agent.

    To test their system, they introduced genes into Arabidopsis plants — the plant equivalent of lab rats. They found that the modified plants removed RDX from contaminated liquids and soil far faster than unaltered plants.
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    very interesting info. Thanks for posting.
     
  3. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi,

    In chennai, a Genetically modified poplars are going to be used on a marsh land as per the last news this week.
     
  4. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Shanthi
    I heard lots of work is done in this field. Its just that i am ignorant. I am really amazed the progress done when we read about it.
     
  5. suminanda

    suminanda New IL'ite

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    hi everybody,our ancestors were so intelligent and were aware of these kind of natural phenomenathat they planted banyan trees near almost all the temples and other shrines...Banyan trees are number one air purifiers .......................suminanda
     
  6. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Suminanda
    I was not aware of it. Really?? Isnt that amazing so many years agao they know and did the right thing. especially like temple areas are places where larger number of people congregate. Thanks for sharing. your avatar is very cute.
     
  7. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    I have seen the marsh, the effect of the marsh..the water nearby comes an almost yellowish brown...but the bitter truth is there are so many leading constructions around that area...so now it has been handed over to the private org...which is thinking of planting GM poplars.....The other info is this particular marsh is one of the natural back waters...:mad:.

    Banyans, peepuls and neem trees are the best natural air purifiers....

    On the same note the favourite food of lot of children..potato chips...more than 75% are from GM potatoes.:shock::shock:....
     
  8. suminanda

    suminanda New IL'ite

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    hi Anandchitra,infact people of India in olden days were so nature caring that they loved and respected plants and trees........i have heard that whenever they want to cut a tree,they would perform certain poojas and seek the permission of that tree...........what a great practice?but what about today................we are not considerate of our next generation! dear anandchitra, thank you for the comments on my avatar.........it was selected for me by my younger daughter...................regards...........suminanda
     
  9. skchivukula

    skchivukula Bronze IL'ite

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    while going thru the older posts I just came across this.
    Its a very interesting write-up
     

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