Plant Power

Preview image of “Plant Power”
  • Part of a plant’s immune system, phytonutrients can also be used for human health
  • Photo: Brightseed

In San Francisco, a biotech startup is using AI to push the curative power of plants.

The startup Brightseed, founded in 2017, has developed an artificial intelligence-based program that can discover the smallest plant components and categorise them according to their effectiveness. Called Forager, this machine learning platform focuses on phytonutrients, chemical compounds in plants that can have positive effects on human health. Their beneficial effects on the human body can include antiinflammatory, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties.

Despite centuries of research into the medical and nutritional importance of plants, 99.9% of phytonutrients are currently still unexplored, according to Brightseed. Forager is now supposed to reveal these nutrients at a molecular level, with the help of AI. You can then cultivate the detected components for the production of food supplements. In addition to detecting new compounds, Forager can also be used to find innovative uses for existing herbal ingredients. To date, Brightseed has received total funding of 52 million dollars for its research.