Overpopulation and climate change are important problems of today, and biologist Joan Cory (61) claims to have a solution for both. For 30 years, she has been working on the development of a plant that would absorb 50 percent of the total amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in the country for the next 1,000 years. Above all, it would solve the problem of hunger in the world.
For this reason, Google and Facebook have awarded it a Breakthrough Prize and Life Sciences Prize for Revolutionary Achievements, which includes a $ 3 million prize money.
The plant, which has no name yet, has been cultivated in a long-lasting and painstaking process so that it now consists almost exclusively of material called “suberin”.
It is a polymer, which resembles a cork, and which plants produce naturally. Since it is a polymeric systhetic material, the root of plants quickly decays, but they therefore absorb carbon dioxide for hundreds, even thousands of years.
“Suberin” is mainly found in aquatic plants, which it uses because it does not leak water, thus protecting them from floods, but also drying out during drought.
Joan Cory wants to grow a plant that will absorb from the atmosphere 20 times more carbon dioxide and can grow in (the dark) darkness. That’s why it extracted the mutations and genes needed for this purpose in order to target them in future trials.
Above all, the plant is edible.
– It resembles the taste of leblebia – explained Chori.
In order for the miraculous plant to save the world, it takes more time and money, according to scientist estimates, about $ 50 million for a comprehensive study on the ground. She says that about five percent of today’s arable land should be covered by these plants in order to have an effect on the climate and contribute to solving the hunger problem. Of course, the plants would be evenly distributed throughout the world.
According to her estimation, this would be enough to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by about 50 percent.