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A breakthrough at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may revolutionize the furniture industry

A breakthrough at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may revolutionize the furniture industry, potentially offering a sustainable alternative to traditional wood-based products. Researchers at MIT have discovered a method to grow wood-like material around 100 times faster than natural tree growth, using cells from the common zinnia flower. By adjusting hormone concentrations in a nutrient-rich gel mixture, scientists can control the density and structure of the resulting material. This process, which involves incubating modified cells in the dark for three months, offers the possibility of creating three-dimensional structures suitable for furniture.

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Lead author Ashley Beckwith highlights the potential of this research to mitigate deforestation and reduce waste and pollution from manufacturing. The furniture industry, a significant wood consumer, faces increasing pressure to adopt eco-friendly practices. MIT's innovation presents an opportunity to meet consumer demand for planet-friendly products while promoting biodiversity and conservation efforts.

The study published in Materials Today describes the prospect of producing tree-free wooden objects like tables and desks using this novel approach. MIT researchers emphasize the importance of customization and optimization in creating functional and sustainable furniture. Moving forward, they plan to explore other plant species and refine their techniques, examining genetic and chemical factors that influence cell growth.

As global deforestation rates accelerate, innovative solutions like MIT's lab-grown wood offer hope for a more sustainable future in the furniture industry. With growing consumer interest in environmentally friendly products, this technology has the potential to transform the way furniture is produced and consumed.

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