Engineering Trees To Grow Faster And Capture More Carbon

An article by Vanessa Bates Ramirez Singularity Hub April 14 2022



Genetic engineering has given scientists the power to manipulate fundamental properties of living things, from humans to animals to plants. In plants, genetic tweaks have brought all manner of advancements, namely higher crop yields. The technology hasn’t been used much on trees, but that may be about to change; as climate change alarm bells clang, scientists and engineers are looking for any possible way to draw more carbon out of the atmosphere, and one group of researchers wondered whether it might be possible to use nature’s original carbon capture tool to help us out. But to really help, they can’t just be regular trees; they need to be purpose-built with specific traits and abilities.


A startup called Living Carbon is taking on the challenge. The company, which says its mission is “to rebalance the planet’s carbon cycle using the power of plants,” is using genetic engineering to create trees that grow more quickly and capture more carbon than their all-natural predecessors.



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