Scientists Have Invented Moss That Smells Like Incense

first_img Biotech startup Taxa has had a bit of a rough time the past couple years. Back in 2013, the company launched a Kickstarter for genetically engineered plants would glow at night, cutting street lamp electricity costs tremendously. Then, earlier this year, the company announced that the project was dead.Now Taxa’s back with bio-engineered moss that comes in a few different scents — patchouli, linalool (a floral scent), and geraniol, which is a little bit rosier. Each of them is made by splicing specific genes into moss, which not only can grow basically anywhere, but can do so in a liquid. Without roots or major plant structures, moss isn’t bound by most plants’ limitations. It just grows. Basically anywhere.That’s the idea behind Orbella, Taxa’s mini-terrarium. Grow a starter culture in a lab, pack it up, and let it keep growing, producing mild scents. Right now, the focus is on getting stronger scents, which could put it on the same tier strength-wise, like a scented candle. Not enough to fill up a room on its own, but enough to give a fragrant background to whatever. And, while the company admits it hasn’t done testing beyond a few months, it should continue to survive for as long as you care for it. It’s moss, after all. Down the line, though, it’s feasible that one of these terrariums could fill up a whole room. Just add sunlight.Right now an Orbella will run you about $80. But it seems like this stuff was practically made for me. My room always smells like incense anyway, and I spend… we’ll say more than I should on-air freshers, fragrances, perfumes, and oils. Plus, I’m basically a hippie anyway, so I am this company’s target market.If you do choose to take the dive (like I might on payday), then you’ll also get a few emails intended to take some of the ominous mystery out of the process of genetic engineering. Before you even ask, yes, it’s safe, as most genetically modified organisms are. Taxa believes that GMOs could be key to achieving a sustainable future. All packaging for Orbella is sent in bio-degradable material that you can just compost in your garden if you need to.“We’re interested in sustainability,” CEO Anthony Evans told Gizmodo. “Eventually everything we produce will be produced biologically.”That’s still a way down the road yet, though. Taxa is open about its current business strategy: “With every purchase of Orbella Fragrant Moss, you support our research into cleaner ways to make things with plants,” You’re basically making an investment in the company, and, to help acknowledge that, Taxa also runs promotions that will continue providing you with those more powerful scents as soon as they’re made for free. There’s always the risk they may never come out, but at least you’ll still have your own growin’ moss. Plus, nobody said biotech was easy.Evans hopes that his company will keep expanding so that it can one day push larger and sustainability initiatives.“We hope that our products positively change the public’s perception of GMOs and inspire a new generation of bioengineers to create a greener future for us all,” the site reads.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend last_img